Eduardo González. Madrid
Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, will open the multinational political conference on stability and development in Libya, this Wednesday, 17 September, according to sources from the Moncloa Palace.
The opening act will take place at 10:30 hrs., at the Viana Palace, headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Following this, the Spanish and Libyan Ministers of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo and Mohamed Abdelaziz, will begin the conference, which will take place behind closed doors.
The objective of the conference, the details of which were agreed last week by Margallo and Abdelaziz, is to bring together the countries and international organisations most affected by the current crisis in Libya, with the objective of preventing the deterioration of the current situation in the north African country and preventing its evolution to an armed conflict of greater scale, one that could become a base for terrorist groups, especially in the current context of the growth of jihadism in Syria and Iraq.
It is believed that the conference will be attended by the Foreign Ministers of countries such as Algeria, Chad, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Portugal, Sudan and Spain, all of which are in different multinational groups such as the 5+5 Forum, the Med 7 (the seven European states in the Mediterranean) and the Group of Libya’s Neighbouring Countries. There will also be representatives from the Arab League, the EU, the African Union, the Union for the Mediterranean and from the UN, more specifically the newly appointed special envoy for the Secretary General for Libya, the Spaniard Bernardino León.
The objective of the meeting is to avoid a deterioration of the situation, which might favour terrorist groups
The situation in Libya worsened considerably after the legislative elections on 25 June, the results of which were not recognised by the previous Parliament, dominated by Islamists. On 14 July, important confrontations took place between different militias in Tripoli, which caused the shutdown of the international airport there, as well as the evacuation of foreign workers and international missions.
As a consequence of this, the Chamber that resulted from the elections has been forced to move to Tobruk (far from the fighting between rival militias, in the east of the country), while the previous Parliament continues in the capital, Tripoli, and has even gone so far as to designate its own de facto government, headed by the Islamist Omar al-Hasi. The political fragmentation and polarization have undermined the country’s institutions as well as the political transition process, and has had powerful regional repercussions on areas such as security, migration, economic development and the humanitarian issue.
According to official sources, it is not expected that the conference conclude with any specific action to be taken. Among the Spanish Government’s principal objectives are the international recognition of the Parliament and Government elected in June, who will be the only Libyan representatives at the Madrid meetings, and that a clear message in favour of a dialogued solution is sent to Libyans.