EU to punish Libyans obstructing UN sponsored peace talks

European Union to impose punitive measures on at least two Libyans who appear to be preventing progress in United Nations efforts for peace

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Libyan soldiers try to fix a weapon that jammed during clashes with militants on the frontline in Al Ajaylat, 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Tripoli, Libya

A diplomatic source said on Tuesday that the European Union is considering imposing travel bans and asset freezes on at least two Libyans who are hindering the United Nations' (UN) initiatives to form a united Libyan government.

Libya is currently controlled by two rival governments with two parliaments, the General National Assembly (GNC) which is based in Tripoli, while the House of Representatives (HoR) is based in the eastern coastal cities of Benghazi and Tobruk.

The Libyan rivals on Monday rejected UN efforts to form a unity government during a meeting in Brussels, which was delayed several times over disagreements between the warring parties. The agreement sets out to form a transitional government that unifies the two governments.

Sources said that if the diplomats reach an agreement soon, the sanction - which could last for months - will be imposed next month on Nouri Abusahmain, the head of Libya's GNC, one of two rival parliaments, and Khalifa al-Ghwell, who leads one of Libya's two rival governments.

According to the sources, other names also are being discussed, including the president of Libya's internationally recognised parliament, Aguila Saleh, since his HOR rejected the UN-backed plan on Monday.

Libya has been faced with unrest since long-time autocrat Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011, which opened the way for DAESH terrorists to be active in Sirte and other areas. While Libyan tribal militants are controlling other swathes of the country.  

Chaos in Libya has dropped crude oil production to less than a quarter of 1.6 million barrels per day. But if stability returns to the country and the security conditions are improved, the European Union offers to provide more support which will lead to the return of international workers to Libya.

Amid the refugee crisis which Europe is facing, stability in Libya would allow control of the borders.

Last week the European countries promised $108 million of "immediate and substantial support" to be provided to Libya as soon as the transitional government is formed.


TRTWorld and agencies