On July 1, the U.S. Government and representatives of the LNA met virtually for discussions on militia demobilization. Battlefield developments and progress in the UN-facilitated 5+5 talks have created a renewed opportunity and an imperative to address issues related to militias across Libya. In keeping with U.S. policy of active neutrality on Libya, this meeting follows U.S. engagement regarding militias with GNA representatives last week.
The two sides affirmed that all Libyans should enjoy the protection of capable and accountable security forces, free from the dangers posed by militias, non-state armed groups, and foreign fighters. The LNA delegation briefed the U.S. delegation on its commitment to UN-facilitated dialogue and LNA proposals to make progress on security sector reform (SSR) and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) efforts. The U.S. side reaffirmed that armed groups that attempt to spoil the political process or engage in destabilizing acts must not be tolerated – and risk international sanctions.
The U.S. delegation stressed its opposition to all foreign interference in Libya and discussed the imperative of an immediate ceasefire and return to UN-facilitated security and political negotiations. The U.S. delegation emphasized that the LNA’s affiliation with the Wagner group, a Russian Ministry of Defense proxy, and perpetuation of the oil shutdown are at odds with U.S. and Libyan interests, undermine Libyan sovereignty, and increase the risk of conflict that could damage critical oil infrastructure. Both delegations reaffirmed a desire to de-escalate the conflict and find sustainable solutions that result in a secure, sovereign, and prosperous Libya.
The United States was represented by National Security Council Senior Director, Major General Miguel Correa; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Henry Wooster; and U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland. The LNA was represented by the Head of the LNA Command Apparatus, General Aoun Al Farjani; LNA Secretary General, General Abd Al Karim Hadiya; and Office Director for the LNA General Commander, General Kheiri Al Tamimi.