Excerpts: Leon’s Press Conference at Conclusion of Libyan Political Dialogue Round, 26 March 2015
"We believe that this week we have made very important progress in our talks. So far, the agreement of the participants was on two points – that there is no military solution for Libya, and that we should agree on national unity government and security arrangements to begin with, and then tackle other issues. Today, we have an agreement on the scope of issues, the scope of institutions, aspects we are going to deal with in the coming weeks, and I believe this is a very important step in the right direction."
"This week we have gone well beyond what we expected, because we have reduced the scope of issues we are discussing. We have published these general ideas and they have been accepted as the basis of discussion in the coming weeks. So, I think all participants and all Libyans feel now very encouraged that we are really getting very close to the agreement."
"The parties have welcomed the proposals, the ideas published by UNSMIL, as a basis for future discussion, and have equally welcomed the documents that were distributed yesterday as a basis for the future agreement."
"It does not mean they agree with everything in these documents. Of course, we still have a long way. We still have to work together. We still have to work hard, but I believe that we have - and really this has been shared by all the participants - that we have gone beyond the point of no return. They are all now convinced that there will be a national agreement in Libya, there is a political solution in Libya."
"We would like to resume, if possible, next week."
"We have told them that Libya does not have the time to wait too much, and I have to say they all agreed and they are really ready to come back very soon."
There is unanimity also on other elements. First of all, all those armed groups should stop. The fighting will not stop this dialogue. The fighting will only represent more suffering, more lives that will be lost, but it will not affect this dialogue. So, the weapons must stop.
There is also unanimity there should not be, not only armed escalation, but also verbal escalation. Those who are sceptical, those who don't believe in the political solution should give us a chance. This is also a very clear call from all the participants on politicians, on social leaders, on religious leaders. All of them should give an opportunity for peace.
There is also unanimity that we have to keep working with the other tracks, the other working groups. As you know, we have the groups of security and military issues, where different armed groups, militias, but of course the Libyan army also are involved. It is very important to work with them, to make them feel part of this agreement, of these discussions, of the elements we will discuss also in the coming weeks. And the same thing about the other tracks, the municipalities, the political leaders that will meet soon in Algiers, and the tribal leaders track that will also meet soon in Egypt.
I would like to insist, finally, on one issue that really is a very important concern for the United Nations and the international community is that we have seen in the last 48 hours the kidnapping of two brothers of an MP from the House of Representatives in Tobruk, Dr. Abukbar Said. UNSMIL is working very actively to free these two persons. It is a concern added to the one we had before about other similar cases, for instance, Dr. Suleiman Zobi, who has been kidnapped for a few months. He is a former member of the General National Congress in Tripoli and who has been kidnapped in Zintan now for a few months. UNSMIL has been working also on this case. There are other cases. We think that it is unacceptable that armed groups kidnap anyone, any person in Libya, but especially people who are relatives or who are directly politicians. This cannot happen and we call very strongly on those involved in these acts to release these persons immediately."