US Assistant Secretary of State: December Elections in Libya Are “Decisive” – Al Marsad

The US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Joey Hood, said that “the elections to be held on 24 December, are crucial to democratic progress and Libyan unity.”

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Joey Hood said “the political process must be owned by Libyans, led by Libyans, and must be free from foreign interference or influence.”

He stressed that the goal of the US was to establish a sovereign, stable, united and secure Libya without foreign interference, and “a democratically elected government that supports human rights and development, capable of fighting terrorism within its borders.”

Hood pointed out that “Washington is increasing its diplomatic focus on supporting progress in Libya, including through the work of US Special Envoy Richard Norland.” He also said there was a “need to complete the constitutional basis and the electoral law to ensure the success of the elections.”

Hood said that the US was in “discussions with European and regional allies, the Libyan Interim Government, the United Nations, and others about how to make progress toward a sequential withdrawal of all foreign forces and fighters.”

He said “the ceasefire agreement, signed on 23 October 2020, provides for the withdrawal of all foreign forces, mercenaries, proxies and foreign fighters, including those coming from Syria, and the end of any foreign military intervention.”

“Libya’s leaders must make basic preparations to ensure the success of the elections at the national level, including defining the constitutional basis and the electoral law that will govern them.”

He also commented that “If Khalifa Haftar chooses to truly engage in the political process, the Libyans themselves will determine whether he has a role to play” in the country’s future.

“The US supports the Security Council’s intention to ensure that frozen Libyan assets, under UN Security Council Resolution 1970 (adopted in 2011), are made available to the Libyan people and for their benefit,” Hood said.

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)