India at UN says priority is to ensure elections in Libya
United Nations, Jun 28: India has said it is regrettable that there is still no agreement on the Constitutional basis for holding elections in Libya, saying that the priority right now is to ensure that elections are held at the earliest in a free, fair, inclusive, and credible manner, news agency PTI reported.
Counsellor in India's Permanent Mission to the UN R. Madhu Sudan said Monday at the Security Council briefing and consultations on Libya that New Delhi notes with concern that the progress seen after the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement is not only in danger of coming to a halt, but there are also indications of risk of backsliding.
"We noted with a high degree of concern the reports of armed clashes and mobilisations of armed groups in and around Tripoli," Mr Madhu Sudan said.
"It is also regrettable that there is still no agreement on the Constitutional basis for holding elections," he said, adding that India notes that the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aguila Saleh and President of the High Council of State Khaled Al-Mishri are scheduled to meet at the UN Office at Geneva on 28-29 June to discuss the draft constitutional framework for holding elections.
He said, "We urge all parties concerned to strive to resolve all outstanding political issues peacefully, keeping the larger interests of the Libyan people in mind. We hope that all parties will work together to maintain peace and stability in the country."
"In this regard, we once again reiterate the importance of holding the Presidential and Parliamentary elections at the earliest. It has been about half a year since the missed milestone for holding elections as decided by Libyans themselves. It is important that the stalemate not be allowed to continue," he said adding that it is important to ensure that the political process in Libya is fully Libyan-led and Libyan-owned with no imposition or external interference.
India underlined that the priority right now is to ensure that elections are held at the earliest in a free, fair, inclusive, and credible manner.
"We hope that all parties in Libya can unite around this common purpose. It is important for the Security Council and the international community to support the Libyan people as they prepare for the elections. The violence of any form could undermine the progress achieved since 2020, and should be strongly opposed," Mr Madhu Sudan said.
He further noted that it is also important for the international community to focus its attention on the threat of terrorism in Africa, particularly in the Sahel region. Reports of the Secretary-General and the Panel of Experts have highlighted the presence of training camps of ISIL and its affiliates in southern Libya.
"ISIL's continued ability to launch attacks is deeply concerning. The focus of this Council should be to eliminate every threat posed by ISIL and other terror groups anywhere in the world. Terrorism is a growing threat to Africa and it is important for the Security Council to focus on this issue before it is too late," he said.
India stressed that it is also important to see concrete progress in the full and complete withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries.
He said, "It is regrettable that after over a year and a half since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement we are yet to see tangible progress in this regard. The continued presence of foreign forces and mercenaries is detrimental to the peace and stability of the country and the region."
"We would like to stress here that, as noted very clearly by the Panel of Experts of the Libya Sanctions Committee in their recent report, the so-called military training provided by some countries and the presence of their troops on Libyan soil is also a clear violation of Security Council resolutions," he said.
Mr Madhu Sudan further stressed the importance of planning for the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of armed groups and non-state armed actors. "Libya also needs an inclusive and comprehensive national reconciliation process."