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Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg talks to new Libyan Foreign Minister on the phone: “Glimmer of hope in Libya must not be extinguished”

A few days after the swearing-in of the Libyan transitional government, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg had a first telephone conversation with the new Libyan Foreign Minister Najla El Mangoush.

The current developments in Libya are a glimmer of hope. As Austria and as the EU, it is in our urgent interest that this glimmer of hope is not immediately extinguished,

said the Foreign Minister.

The task now is to support the new government and help it move forward with the political process  under the aegis of the UN and begin preparations for parliamentary and presidential elections in December 2021. The EU would also continue to support the stabilisation of Libya actively, including through Operation Irini and the mission to support the Libyan border police. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg was particularly concerned about the continued presence of foreign troops and mercenaries in the country, as well as the persistent blatant violations of the UN arms embargo.

How can we credibly speak of stabilising Libya if foreign actors continue their irresponsible policy of interference? The foreign fighters and weapons flowing into the country are like a fuse that can cause the powder keg to explode again at any time,

warns  the Foreign Minister.

The current opportunity must be seized, he said.

We Europeans, like the Libyan people themselves, have a strong interest in a stable, secure and prosperous Libya,

said Alexander Schallenberg.

He said he had sensed a “strong spirit of optimism” in the telephone conversation. The Libyan Foreign Minister – the first woman to hold this office – is a symbol of the young, active generation of Libyans who want to take their destiny into their own hands, overcome the divisions within society and move the whole country forward, he said.

We talked about how we can strengthen the participation of women in political processes,

the Foreign Minister reported, referring to the planned training course of the Diplomatic Academy for female Libyan leaders financed by ADA.


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