Leon in Misrata, Meets with Representatives of Armed Groups in Support of Political Agreement

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23 Jun 2015

Leon in Misrata, Meets with Representatives of Armed Groups in Support of Political Agreement

Misrata, 22 June 2015 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Bernardino Leon, met in Misrata on Monday 22 June 2015 with representatives of armed groups from the city, the Western Mountain and other areas of western Libya.

The meeting is part of the overall UNSMIL efforts on the security track of the Libyan dialogue, which is complementary to the ongoing political discussions and is critical for the success of the process. In this context, UNSMIL is in contact with the various security and military actors on the ground in different areas of the country, and the Misrata meeting will be followed by other similar gatherings in other regions of Libya, including Zintan. Also, a meeting is being prepared in Cairo in the coming days for representatives of the Libyan Army and armed groups from regions in the east.

UNSMIL has repeatedly emphasized the importance of security and military officials from the conflicting sides engaging in dialogue. SRSG Leon said at the meeting in Misrata, which included representatives of the Municipal Council, that cooperation of the armed groups is crucial for restoring peace and stability to Libya, and expressed hope to convene the security track of the dialogue soon to draw a detailed plan for the implementation of the security arrangements and address security-related issues.

Mr. Leon gave an overview of the draft political agreement to end Libya's conflict, particularly its security elements. He underscored the importance of the support of the armed groups for the successful implementation of the agreement, specifically on security arrangements including withdrawal from the cities and towns and the positive role the armed groups can play in support of the Government of National Accord.

The participants in the meeting expressed their views regarding the way forward, voiced their concerns and discussed how to overcome them.

Mr. Leon and the UNSMIL team stressed that recent local ceasefires and reconciliation agreements reached between cities and towns in western Libya are welcome developments that the Libyan actors should build on with a view to achieving a permanent and sustainable truce.

There was agreement among the participants to hold a wider meeting soon to discuss mechanisms to consolidate the ceasefires and strengthen it by applying a number of confidence-building measures such as the exchange of prisoners.