Mark questions Government on UK policy in Libya

8th April 2019

Mark Pritchard questions Foreign Office on UK and European diplomacy in Libya and the need for diplomatic consensus from EU and NATO members.

The Secretary General of the United Nations said that he was leaving Libya with a heavy heart, and that he was deeply concerned about the escalation of the conflict there. However, a diplomatic and political conflict is going on behind the scenes between France and Italy. Given that both those countries are members of the European Union and of NATO, what more can the UK Government do to bring about political and diplomatic consensus, especially in view of the fact that the Russians are now very close to the new Italian Government?

I think that there is consensus among our European Union neighbours, and, as I have said, the G7 have issued a statement. It was greatly to be regretted that, for safety reasons, the Secretary General of the United Nations had to flee literally 10 days before we were hoping to get the conference under way. However, I think that a lot of diplomatic work is going on. There is a great deal of concern in the international community, which recognises that if Libya were to become a failed state, all the migration issues—as well as, obviously, the massive humanitarian issues—that we have seen in recent years would only worsen. However, we are working very closely with all our international partners, and will continue to do so.