France and Morocco aim to work together to strengthen the positive dynamic in Libya while ending foreign interference in the crisis.
Rabat – The French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean Yves le Drian, reiterated on Monday France’s support for Morocco’s “important” efforts to find a solution to the crisis in Libya.
After meeting with the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, the French official said Morocco is making a “significant contribution” to the UN political process in Libya by hosting three rounds of dialogue in Bouznika.
Libyan delegations representing the Tripoli-based High Council of State and the Tobruk-based House of Representatives arrived in Morocco last week for the third round of talks.
The November 4-5 dialogue was part of the parties’ preparation for negotiations in Tunisia later this month. Libyan delegations previously engaged in discussions in Bouznika from September 6-10 and October 2-6.
Bourita also personally held separate discussions with the President of the Libyan High Council of State, Khaled Al Mishri, and the Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh Issa.
Le Drian said Morocco’s mediation underscores the importance of the country being a stakeholder in all international initiatives regarding Libya’s conflict resolution.
He added that the Libyan crisis is seeing encouraging developments with the maintenance of the ceasefire and the organization of the Libyan political forum in Tunis.
Le Drian and Bourita each emphasized that France and Morocco aim to work together to strengthen the positive dynamic in Libya while ending foreign interference in the crisis.
The latest on Morocco’s Bouznika dialogue
Delegations from Libya’s High Council of State and House of Representatives convened last week in Bouznika to prepare for the Libyan political forum in Tunis. Like the first two, the third round of dialogue received warm feedback from all participants.
On November 5, the two parties expressed in a joint statement “their sincere gratitude and thanks to the brotherly Kingdom of Morocco for its hospitality and the good efforts it is making to help the Libyans overcome the difficult stage that the country is going through,” according to Morocco’s state media.
The latest meeting focused on the importance of dialogue between the two parties, who each demonstrated readiness to support a political process.
The two parties also emphasized they must each “shoulder the responsibility of maintaining the democratic path and embody the full Libyan ownership of the political process, with the aim of achieving the expected objectives of dialogue.” Chief of these aims, they continued, is unifying state institutions and allowing executive power to “pave the way for the holding of legislative and presidential elections on a constitutional basis.”
The delegations expressed their commitment to continuing discussions in order to reach a “global consensus” on the positions of sovereignty in accordance with Article 15 of the Skhirat Agreement of December 2015.
Ibrahim Sahad, a member of the High Council of State delegation, expressed appreciation for King Mohammed VI, “who is standing by our side,” and said the talks in Bouznika “allowed us to reach many agreements which were out of reach before.”
On behalf of the Libyan House of Representatives, Aicha Mehdi Chalabi expressed the party’s “full appreciation for what Morocco has done to help our people, support us, and be by our side in our crisis through a historic message of peace which will be taught to our children.”
A proud Morocco
Morocco’s foreign minister is proud of the outcome of the dialogue initiative in Bouznika, saying on November 5 that it triggered a “positive dynamic.”
“There is today great optimism among the Libyans and the international community” about achieving a solution to the internal crisis, he said.
Bourita emphasized that Morocco’s initiative to facilitate inter-Libyan dialogue without foreign meddling is in line with the instructions of King Mohammed VI.
Morocco’s approach to the Libya conflict is based on three principles enshrined in the 2015 Skhirat Agreement. The principles are the absence of foreign interference, a political solution rather than a military one, and a peaceful outcome that ensures Libya’s sovereignty and the fundamental rights of its people.
Bourita said Morocco’s approach to the conflict has taught international observers that “the Libyans alone are capable of solving their problems by showing a sense of responsibility and patriotism for the benefit of their country.”
Morocco is only interested in standing alongside Libyans and giving them a platform to negotiate among themselves without interference or influence, the minister stressed.
“We are happy to see that the Libyan Dialogue has led to important agreements that will facilitate work in the coming stages and shorten the distances to achieve a solution hoped for by all Libyans,” he said proudly.