Libyans must decide the future of their people

Alfred Sant MEP

Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant said that allowing more time to truly find a lasting solution by which to establish a Libyan national unity administration is a risk to take. Whether in good or bad faith, Dr. Sant said, the Libyans must decide the future of their people. Imposing sanctions against those who fail to deliver unity now is a bad decision especially if taken independently of the United Nations system. That will serve to kindle the suspicion of the Libyan people in European intentions.

Dr. Sant, addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg during the ‘Plenary Debate on Libya’, said negotiations towards a national unity government have been spiked with mistrust. ‘For Libyan society has been deeply fractured by the events of the past few years. It cannot surprise that negotiations encountered long delays. Nor should one overlook mistakes in mediation efforts. Irritated by delays, they went for speed. The main players in the Libyan drama share a country but have totally contrasting perspectives and interests.’

Dr. Sant said the European Union decided to await the formation of a Libyan government of national unity under United Nations aegis. ‘It should honour this decision. So, it can reclaim the respect and trust of the Libyan people. The situation in Libya is becoming desperate. Daesh extremists are extending their reach. The time to stop them is as soon as possible.  True, quick action is required against Daesh.’ emphasised Dr. Sant.

The resolution was adopted with 470 votes in favour and 80 against. During previous meetings of the S&D, Dr. Sant had argued that at this delicate juncture in Libyan affairs, a European Parliament resolution could be counter productive for it is a time when silence might be golden. Eurocentric discourse and moves that would appear to make a Libyan government of national unity a puppet of foreign powers could have dangerous consequences.’ Dr. Sant told the S&D.

S&D moved on with this motion and furthermore agreed upon it as a Joint Motion between the EPP, S&D, Greens, ALDE and ECR.

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