European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has warned the EU must play a central role in managing the crisis in Libya. If not, other countries like Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates will step in.
Addressing MEPs on September 7, ahead of a debate on the Libyan crisis during the plenary in Strasbourg on September 11, Tajani said: “In the absence of a stable Libyan government that can control the country’s borders and territory, managing migration flows from Libya’s coast will become more difficult. Moreover, the smuggling of weapons and drugs will continue to help terrorists, putting in danger the safety of African and European citizens”.
According to Tajani, Europe should intervene in this crisis with more conviction, speaking with a single voice.
“The debate among the representatives of 500 million Europeans must bring us a step closer to an EU shared approach towards this emergency,” he said. “We need more effective coordination among Member States and European institutions, and a step back from those member states that only promote their national agendas, at the expense of a shared approach, thus damaging all European citizens.”
In related news, Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, spoke over the phone with the Prime Minister of Libya, Fayez al-Sarraj, on September 7.
Mogherini extended her condolences to the Prime Minister and Libyan people for the dozens of fatalities, many of them civilians, in the latest round of fighting. She reiterated the EU’s support for the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the work of Prime Minister al-Sarraj as well as its continuing support of the role being played by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General Ghassan Salamé.
They discussed the recent escalation of violence in and around Tripoli and welcomed the UN-brokered ceasefire, which is a promising first step to restore stability in the capital.
Mogherini and the Lybian PM agreed to stay in close touch in the coming days and weeks. She briefed him in view of her intention to put Libya on the agenda of the EU Foreign Ministers meeting she will chair in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.