Home Breaking News Libyan unity government: a big step in the right direction

Libyan unity government: a big step in the right direction


The nomination of a unity government for Libya is a step in the right direction, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said today. ‘It’s all to the good, especially after such a long period of rival blocs contending for power.’

The minister sees the unity government as important not only for Libyans themselves, but also for the EU. ‘Libyans can only suffer from having a divided country where parties are confronting each other head-on,’ he said. ‘And a united Libya is vital for the Netherlands and the rest of the EU, too, because it makes joint action possible in the struggle against terrorism,’ he remarked.

Mr Koenders pointed out that Libya has increasingly become a haven for ISIS, commenting that ‘only a Libyan government with the entire country under its control can prevent ISIS from using it as a base’. A united Libya is also a key precondition for better management of migration flows towards Europe.

At the same time, the minister still sees potential snags ahead for the new government: ‘we still need to see whether the parliament will give its assent’, for example. He called on the Libyan parliament to confirm the new government’s installation as rapidly as possible.

The international community, under UN leadership, will endeavour in the coming months to support Libya as much as possible. The EU has, announced an assistance package of €100 million.

Mr Koenders hopes that the unity government will pay more attention in future to the status of women. ‘UN envoy Martin Kobler had called for 30% of the portfolios to be given to women, but in fact only one woman has been appointed as a minister,’ he said. ‘That’s a disappointment and a missed opportunity, particularly because women are playing such a crucial role in the transition process.’ The Netherlands is supporting Libyan women in establishing an advisory body that will function as a ministry.


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