Arab League expresses full support for Libya’s Tobruk-based government

Nourhan Fahmy
3 Min Read

The Arab League held an emergency meeting in Cairo on Monday to discuss recent developments in Libya, according to an Arab League statement.

The meeting came following an urgent request made by Ashour Bourashed, Libya’s permanent delegate to the League.

The meeting was attended by Secretary General Nabil El-Araby and Arab League Special Envoy to Libya Nasser Al-Kidwa. It aimed to discuss the ongoing conflict in Libya and the wave of violence that has recently gripped the country.

The League condemned the recent attacks on oil storage facilities, the murder of an Egyptian doctor and his family and the abduction of 13 Egyptian citizens by armed militias in Libya. It further expressed its support for the legitimate Libyan authority represented in the elected House of Representatives and the government that has emanated from it, according to the statement.

El-Araby stressed the importance of decisive action in the pursuit of Libya’s unity without interfering with its domestic affairs. He added that among the League’s current priorities is the ending of armed terrorist operations that have been targeting Libyans as well as foreign nationals residing in Libya.

Bourashed called on the international community to bear moral and legal responsibility for Libya’s current situation, and to rapidly provide arms to Libyan troops to enable them to carry out their national duties.

Whilst refusing foreign military intervention in his country, President of the House of Representatives Aqila Salih called on the Arab League to intervene to protect vital institutions in Libya should action be necessary. He also called on the League to stop the violence committed by militia groups inside Libya, according to the statement.

The Algerian delegation was the sole delegation to express reservations on the text of the League’s joint statement, which mentioned support for the elected House of Representatives and its government. Debates on providing Libyan troops with arms were inconclusive and it was decided that it should be tackled in the Arab Foreign Ministers’ upcoming meeting in Cairo, to be held later this month, according to DW.

Isa Al-Aribi, who is in charge of the House of Representative’s energy portfolio, spoke to Libyan newspaper Al-Wasat on Monday and said that he has sensed the support of the whole League, especially the Gulf States. This comes after a recent bombing at the parliament’s headquarters in Tobruk last week, which helped the Libyan delegation garner more support from the Arab League, Al-Aribi said.

Libya is currently witnessing a period of contested legitimacy between Tripoli and Tobruk. The international community recognises the government in Tobruk and the House of Representatives elected in June 2014. The Arab League has also affirmed its support to the Tobruk-based government and parliament in yesterday’s meeting.

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