The head of Libyan diplomacy, Najla al-Mangoush, on Thursday, March 25, called for the “immediate” withdrawal of the mercenaries still present in the country despite numerous calls for the withdrawal of the latter as well as of foreign forces to allow the country to rebuild after 10 years of war.
Minister Najla al-Mangoush’s appeal comes as three European foreign ministers are visiting Libya today. These are the heads of French, German and Italian diplomacy. Their visit was announced at the last minute.
“We reiterate the need for the departure of all mercenaries from Libya and immediately,” said the Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs at a joint press conference with the three European ministers from Tripoli, the Libyan capital.
For his part, the French minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, indicated that “the departure of the mercenaries is essential for the Libyan state to assert its sovereignty” away from foreign interference.
In recent months, thanks to an inter-Libyan political process under the aegis of the United Nations, Libya has been able to transform its situation of chaos reigning for 10 years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, where two powers were scrambling to take control of the country, one of which had international legitimacy and the other, in the East, was imposed by force.
This unexpected visit by the heads of diplomacy of the three countries comes in a context where the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi di Maio, had already met the new transitional authorities of the country in Tripoli last Sunday.
France, for its part, is seeking appeasement with the new power in Libya after being criticized for its position close to the strongman of the east, Khalifa Haftar, despite support, officially, for Fayez Al Sarraj, the leader. of the Government of national unity, recognized by the international community. In this context, Paris announced the reopening of its embassy in Tripoli, closed since 2014 as of next Monday.
Germany for its part has been criticized for its management of the Berlin conference which was supposed to bring together all the actors of peace in Libya and which had excluded certain neighboring countries of Libya, in particular Tunisia and Morocco. This meeting was very late in its organization and did not move the file forward unlike the inter-Libyan dialogue under the leadership of the UN which made it possible to set up this new transitional executive responsible for organizing in December , general elections in the country.