Excerpts and Video: SRSG Leon Addresses the Media on Progress in Libyan Dialogue, 25 March 2015
We continue to work here in skhirat. As you know, I was out for a few hours in a short trip in which I could visit Tobruk and Tripoli. We had an exchange of views on how to expedite the talks. I had told you, I think in our last meeting, that I was planning to do that, to expedite the talks, to make to make suggestions on what could be an outline of a final solution. And we continue to work today with the different delegations. I have just met the delegation from Tobruk, from the House of Representatives, and I will continue to work with the other participants in the coming hours.
We are working on the documents. These documents have been changing and evolving in the last days with the remarks and the suggestions from the parties. We have also adapted these documents to this new proposal, to these - I wouldn’t like to call it a proposal – but to these new ideas that we published yesterday and some of them will affect some of the documents we are discussing, particularly as you can imagine the documents on the government.
So these new proposals are now being distributed to the parties and we will have tonight, tomorrow their comments.
We are also, as I told you, expecting the parties to have a first exchange of views on the future components of the unity government, and this is what we were planning to do this evening, what we have been doing this morning with different meetings with members of different delegations and this is what we will do tomorrow.
At the same time, let me enhance the concern of the United Nations once again about the increased level of violence and killing and fighting in Libya. We have seen more terrorist attacks. There have been killings, fighting there have been people in different places kidnapped. There have been fighting in the south and sometimes we talk about east about west the south is also very important and we want to enhance it.
And, of course, we are concerned, not only because there are human lives that are lost, but also because this has an impact in the dialogue and the ones behind these killings are not only showing total lack of respect for life, but also are using these killings just to put pressure on this dialogue, to put pressure on those who have decided to find a solution talking, a solution through dialogue. If there can be something worse than killing a human being it is killing a human being for political purpose. We hope the participants in this dialogue that the Libyan society will make even clearer that they want us to continue in this dialogue and they want their representatives to reach agreement as soon as possible.
I know that there have been doubts because of the first Arabic translation that was published. In the English text it is clear; it is the House of Representatives, which means the current parliament. It is for this reason we have published a new translation in Arabic which very clearly said it is the actual parliament, but the actual parliament under the principle of legitimacy as well as inclusion, which means with all the members of the parliament.
I think that there is a very strong message from the Security Council, from the secretary-general of the United Nations, from all the neighbouring countries of Libya, from the countries in the region.
There is a huge concern about the situation in the country and about the need of all the Libyans to cooperate with the political process. So, I am sure same as we are reacting when we see this violence increasing and trying to undermine a political solution I am convinced that many countries in the region and elsewhere are reacting and asking the Libyans to refrain from any armed action and support the political dialogue. I am equally sure that we will see in the coming days very strong calls from the Security Council because it seems to be always the same pattern. We make progress we have the impression we are getting closer to an agreement and then we always have violence, from both camps, which means we have explained many times there are extremists in both camps, radicals, hardliners who don’t want a political solution. That’s the situation we have.
(How close to a deal?)
I cannot tell you how close we are. Obviously, this is something you have to ask to the parties. I can tell you that a member of one of the delegations said yesterday, last evening, that after the initial positive reaction of the parties to the ideas that we published yesterday maybe we had gone beyond the point of no return. But my experience in Libya tells me that Libyans can always go back to whatever point, even from the point of no return, they can always return. So, are we already really in the point of no return and with this proposal that gives an impression of what the expectations of the parties could be? I hope so, I hope so, and I hope also that once we have had these positive reactions from the parties we will have I have positive reaction and support from the international community and then maybe we will be starting the last stage of the talks. But we have to be very cautious. It is going to be difficult and we will continue. You know, always the last miles are the most difficult ones.
I expect to finalize documents with the new elements that we have included after the ideas we published yesterday and to have a first exchange of views on the names. Then obviously we will have to stop because we have a very important appointment in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Arab League Summit. So, we will have to stop. We will have to leave an opportunity to the regional leaders to express their views and I am sure Libya is going to be key element for discussion in Sharm el-Sheikh, and then in the coming days we will convene the parties again.