Dozens of people have recently been killed in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi in fighting between violent extremist Islamist militias and forces allied with Khalifa Hifter. In a joint statement, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom strongly condemned the ongoing violence in Libya and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
Islamist militant groups — including Ansar al-Sharia Benghazi, listed as a terrorist organization by countries including the United States — have been battling for control of the city with forces led by former general Khalifa Hifter in Benghazi. The statement expresses concern over the escalating violence in communities across Libya which threatens the development of a lasting political solution. Libya's hard fought freedom, warned the U.S. and its allies, is at risk if violence continues to undermine the development of an inclusive political dialogue.
There is no military solution to the Libyan crisis. That's why it's critical that all parties respect the call for a ceasefire.
Libya’s security challenges and the fight against terrorist organizations can only be sustainably addressed by regular armed forces under the control of a central authority which is accountable to a democratic and inclusive parliament.
The U.S. and its four European partners support the work of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General, Bernardino Leon, and urge all parties to cooperate with his efforts. Negotiations and inclusive policies should be pursued, with the aim of finding an agreement on the location of the House of Representatives elected on June 25th and laying the foundations for a Government of National Unity.
The U.S. allies stand ready to use sanctions in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2174 against those who threaten the peace, stability, or security of Libya or those who obstruct or undermine the political process.
The international community must act in a united manner on Libya on the basis of the principles agreed to at recent meetings in New York and Madrid. All partners need to refrain from actions which might exacerbate current divisions in order to let Libyans lay the foundation for a democratic society.