REP LIEU LEADS BIPARTISAN LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR UN RECONCILIATION PROCESS FOR LIBYA
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) led a letter with Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), David Cicilline (D-RI), Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) urging UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to discourage UN partner nations from supporting armed proxies or pursuing alternative agendas that do not support the United Nations reconciliation process for Libya.
In the letter, the Members write:
- As you are undoubtedly aware, the persistent instability in Libya continues to threaten the interests of the United States and its allies across the Mediterranean region and within the Sahel. Nearly three times the size of Texas, with land borders longer than the U.S.-Mexico border, Libya’s current lawlessness is being exploited by terrorists, human traffickers, and transnational organized crime. These forces are likely to grow if Libya’s governing structures remain weak and the ongoing political divisions endure.
- Absent urgent support, we believe Libya’s current trajectory will result in further destabilization and risks repeating the events of 2014 which effectively split the country in two. Indeed, foreign interference and support for armed factions inside Libya, including by U.S. partners, continues to dissuade Libyan parties from engaging in the UN process in good faith.
- In light of these concerning developments, we request that the United States Mission to the United Nations prioritize two immediate steps with regard to Libya:
- Encourage UN Special Representative Salame and the UN Department of Political Affairs to focus on the action plan’s full scope of confidence-building measures, including the implementation of critical economic stabilization measures, regular engagement with the armed groups and agreements by the various factions to hold a referendum on the constitutional draft and a viable election law.
- Discourage partner nations from undermining the UN’s reconciliation process through support of proxy forces inside Libya and violations of the UN arms embargo.
- Ultimately, no one aspect of the action plan will ensure that Libya’s disparate parties and militias are pushed toward reconciliation. Systematic engagement and aggressive political pressure from the United States and its allies will be necessary to overcome the untenable status quo and salvage the UN process. We urge you and the U.S. Mission to continue prioritizing this portfolio; it is in our national interest to take meaningful diplomatic steps today that may prevent greater instability down the road.