Ambassador Norland and HOR Speaker Agilah Saleh spoke on Thursday and agreed on the importance of respect for democratic processes and the need to avoid individual attempts to unilaterally dictate Libya’s political future using armed force.
They agreed that there is no military solution in Libya, on rejecting an approach of imposing facts on the ground, and on the importance of continuing UNSMIL-facilitated negotiations. Mr. Saleh congratulated Ambassador Norland on the confidence placed in him by the United States, and noted the importance of shared and constructive engagement between Libya and Washington.
Ambassador Norland and Mr. Saleh discussed the Berlin Conference and the need for all participants to live up to their commitments not to interfere militarily in Libya. Mr. Saleh noted in his initiative that the time has come to end infighting among Libyans. Ambassador Norland highlighted the importance of counter-terrorism and the risk that continued conflict will open space for terrorist elements to regroup across the country.
Regarding the LNA’s call for a Ramadan ceasefire, Ambassador Norland expressed the hope that building on that statement, the parties could take serious steps for the future of Libyans and return to negotiations under UN auspices for a lasting ceasefire in the 5+5 format, as agreed in Geneva on February 23. Ambassador Norland said the United States encourages all voices genuinely committed to peace and stability in Libya to take part in shaping the country’s political future, and congratulated Mr. Saleh on his involvement in this process and its continuation.
The Ambassador offered Mr. Saleh and his family best wishes for the holy month of Ramadan.