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Malta Hosts Libyan Political Dialogue

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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A Libyan political dialogue meeting is being held in Malta by the UN’s special envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler.

For the first time since signing the political agreement in Skhirat, Morocco, the Libyan political dialogue meeting is taking place outside of Tunisia.

According to the Maltese Foreign Affairs Minister George Vella, who expressed how “proud” he is of his country for hosting the dialogue meeting, about 30 of the meeting participants are engaged actively in the meeting.

“This makes us proud for two reasons: firstly, because it is testimony to the close friendship that still exists between the Maltese and Libyans and, secondly, because you are giving us an opportunity to contribute directly in the search for a solution to your country’s problems,” said a press release quoting Vella.

It is upsetting to see human rights abuses and the widespread loss of life in Libya, Vella said.

Vella emphasized the need for more dialogue to resolve the tension in Libya that is troubling the North African nation.

He also stated that only Libyans can truly solve the issues in Libya. “Malta, together with the international community, is only facilitating the process. Facilitating and assisting does not equate to dictating what has to be done,” Vella added.

“It is up to the Libyans themselves to decide what shape and form their institutions should take as well as who should govern their country. I realize that these early steps are difficult but decisions need to be taken.”

In his address, Vella called on the meeting participants to evaluate the Libyan political agreement and present it in a way that explains the value it can deliver with regards to rebuilding Libya. Endorsing the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), a product of the Libyan political agreement, can allow the GNA to properly lead Libya forward, he added.

“I reiterate that Libyans should do this.  It is in your interest to do it.  Do it, not for us, but for yourselves, for your children, for your country and for future generations. Reason should prevail over hard-headedness, hope over fear, and dialogue and understanding over fighting and violence.”

In a tweet Martin Kobler said, “I want to express my gratitude for the Government of Malta and Foreign Minister Vella for hosting this meeting.”

Libya has been struggling with ongoing political instability which has weakened the country, however, for the first time since Muammar Gaddafi’s 42 year dictatorship ended, political dialogue and engagement is more open and accessible to the Libyan people. During Gaddafi’s rule political leadership was reserved only for those in his close circle.

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