The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, was in Libya on Sunday to support the United Nations-backed peace process.
Oil-rich Libya has been torn by civil war since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and assassinated in 2011 in a NATO-backed uprising.
Michel met with the head of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed Al Manfi, before speaking at a press conference.
“This is a moment of hope and challenge,” said Michel. “We, the EU, stand by you (the national consensus government) and the Libyan people […] You created the opportunity to rebuild your country, but there is a requirement: all foreign fighters and troops must leave the country. Implementation of the ceasefire agreement and compliance with the United Nations arms embargo will also be crucial in this process. “
Foreign ministers of France, Germany and Italy were in Tripoli last month to meet their Libyan counterparts to support the war-torn country’s newly formed government that will lead Libya to the December 24 elections.
The new interim government emerged from a complex, United Nations-sponsored process that began in November and its membership was ratified by the Libyan Parliament on March 10.
The first vaccines arrive
Not only is Libya in political turmoil, but it is also facing a growing number of coronavirus infections.
On Sunday, over a hundred thousand doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V arrived in the capital Tripoli for storage and distribution.
The country of around 7 million people has reported more than 161,000 confirmed cases and 2,684 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began.
However, the real number of cases is believed to be far higher in Libya, as elsewhere in developing countries, partly due to limited testing