Nebenzya said that changing the UN mission in Libya before the elections could hinder them

01 October 2021

Russia assumes that the decision to change the format of the UN Support Mission in Libya should be taken only after the December 24 elections in that country, Russia's permanent representative to the world organization Vasily Nebenzya said on Thursday, speaking at a meeting of the Security Council. The Security Council unanimously extended the mission's mandate in Libya until January 31, 2022.

"We agree with our colleagues on the Security Council that the conclusions and recommendations of the independent UN strategic review of the mission, including the idea of reformatting the mission structure, will be best implemented at the end of the electoral process in Libya," the diplomat said. - "We urge all Libyan players to take advantage of the UN Security Council's support, with the help of the UN Support Mission in Libya, to overcome the accumulated disagreements and to jointly hold the elections scheduled for December 24, which are to open a new peaceful page in the history of the Libyan state," he said.

According to him, Russia voted for prolonging the mission on the basis of its conviction "in the indispensability of a comprehensive peaceful settlement of the Libyan crisis under the aegis of the UN, which has a central role in this process."

"We consider the consensual adoption of the resolution to be the evidence of the international community's continuous support to the Libyan people at a very sensitive and responsible stage of the political process, namely, on the eve of the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for December," said the Russian representative.

As the diplomat noted, reformatting the UN Mission before the elections could interfere with the voting and the peace process.

"We said from the very beginning that it [reformatting the mission] was untimely, could hinder the Libyan peace process, the preparation for the elections," Nebenzya said. - "There was a huge number [of forces] who use any excuse to postpone the elections. We are ready to discuss reformatting the mission, but now is not the time for that".

According to the Russian representative, three months of talks on the resolution confirmed the correctness of the Russian position.

Nebenzya spoke about discussions with other UN Security Council countries on the parameters of the withdrawal of foreign forces from Libya. "We talked about this topic, found options on how to spell it all out [in the text of the resolution], but we didn't agree on that text, we came to a technical extension of the resolution," the Russian representative pointed out. - "We have always said that the withdrawal should be synchronized, coordinated, balanced and gradual so as not to upset the balance on the ground, and we will go on saying it".

Nebenzya recalled that the UN office in Tripoli is home to special envoy of secretary-general Jan Kubiš. "Kubiš is two weeks out of the month in Geneva, he will continue his activities. When the elections take place, then we will think about a full-fledged mission in the country," the diplomat said. - "There's nothing unusual about it, we haven't proposed anything extraordinary."



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: official website of the President of the Russian Federation

Based on materials from TASS