The Arab League meeting on Tuesday is a good first step to enforce a leading Arab role in the Libyan conflict. And by supporting the Egyptian initiative, the Arab world makes it clear to all foreign parties that are involved in the conflict, particularly Turkey, that the Syrian experience will not be repeated.
In Syria, the Arabs gave up early on the conflict, which raged on for 9 years. The absence of the Arab role in Syrian allowed foreign hostile players, mainly Iran, Turkey, and Tehran-allied militias such as Hezbollah to call the shots in the Arab country, terrorising its people and deciding the nation’s future.
In all the international conferences aimed at settling the Syrian conflict, these foreign players bizarrely claim to speak on behalf the Syrian people.
What is significant in the foreign ministers’ meeting is the overwhelming agreement on the need for an Arab central role in the ending the crisis and realising the aspirations of the Libyan people to live in a united, prosper and stable country. There is no other alternative
In Libya, it is not too late to come to the aid of the Libyan people. There still is an ample chance for an Arab role that would preserve the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In its online meeting on Tuesday, the Arab League’s foreign ministers spoke in one voice against the foreign military intervention, while stressing the need for a comprehensive political solution.
The UAE’s position in the meeting was crystal clear. There must be an immediate ceasefire that paves the way for a political solution to restore Libya’s security and stability.
The UAE called for “an end to the bloodshed, the regional escalation in Libya and the Turkish intervention [which also] threaten the national security of Egypt,” Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs told his Arab counterparts.
The meeting was chaired by Yusuf Bin Alawi, Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, who played a key role in getting an Arab consensus on a significant resolution to end the conflict, through the endorsement of the Egyptian initiative.
The initiative, announced by Egyptian president Abel Fattah Al Sisi earlier, calls for a ceasefire and immediate talk in addition to the exit of all foreign fighters, including the Turkish-sponsored mercenaries.
Egyptian proposal also includes provisions for rebuilding Libya’s economy, reforming its institutions under parliamentary supervision, and restoring the vital role of the central bank and oil institutions in the country, “within a framework of transparency and equal distribution of resources.”
What is significant in the foreign ministers’ meeting is the overwhelming agreement on the need for an Arab central role in the ending the crisis and realising the aspirations of the Libyan people to live in a united, prosper and stable country. There is no other alternative. The Syrian lesson is too painful to ignore.