U.S. Embassy Libya
For Immediate Release
January 11, 2020
U.S. Delegation Meets with Libyan Parties in Rome
Senior U.S. officials met separately with Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha and General Khalifa Haftar in Rome on January 9 to reiterate to all Libyan parties the critical importance of forging a durable political solution to the crisis that would de-escalate military activity and chart a course towards a better future for all Libyans.
The U.S. delegation included Deputy National Security Advisor for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs Victoria Coates, Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Maghreb and Egyptian Affairs Henry Wooster.
The U.S. officials voiced the Administration’s serious concern about toxic foreign interference in the conflict and reaffirmed the United States’ full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya. The deployment of Russian mercenaries fighting on behalf of the Libyan National Army and Turkish-supported Syrian fighters allied with the Government of National Accord have significantly degraded security, to the detriment of all Libyans. Attacks in recent days against Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport and indiscriminate shelling of residential neighborhoods in the capital are contributing to civilian casualties and worsening the humanitarian emergency in Tripoli. All responsible Libyan parties should end this dangerous escalation and reject the destructive involvement by foreign forces.
The United States welcomes all genuine efforts to end this violence and achieve a peaceful, secure, and prosperous Libya. In Thursday’s discussions, the U.S. delegation encouraged both parties to heed calls for de-escalation and to seize this moment to return to intra-Libyan political talks, which can establish a common basis for progress on the issues that divide them. The United States stands ready to support UN-facilitated political dialogue and to reinforce concrete efforts to dismantle militias, achieve a just distribution of resources, and prevent extremist elements that seek to exploit Libya’s transition from gaining political power.