The President of the Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sarraj, arrived in the United States on Thursday to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries with US officials. His visit is the first since Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
Al-Sarraj began his visit with meeting US Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, at the Pentagon in the presence of Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala, political advisor to the President Taher Al-Sanni, and Libyan Ambassador to the United States Wafa Bughaighis.
President Trump welcomed Al-Sarraj and the will for consensus. He stressed the strategic partnership between Libya and the United States in the fight against terrorism and the prominent and important role that the Government of National Accord played in the battle for the liberation of Sirte from ISIS.
Al-Sarraj discussed the developments in the political and security situation in Libya and praised the support provided by the United States to the Government of National Accord in defeating terrorism.
The two sides agreed to continue cooperation and coordination between the two countries, and to build on the successful experience in Sirte which expelled ISIS in record time- thanks to the sacrifices of the courageous youth.
The two sides also discussed steps to support the security and military services and the Presidential Guard in order to provide the necessary means to raise their efficiency and to deliver training and rehabilitation programs and build a unified military institution.
During this meeting, President Trump stressed the United States’ support for the Government of National Accord and the importance of continuing the UN-led efforts for political reconciliation within the framework of the Libyan political agreement signed in the Skhirat.
At the end of his tour, the President of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj held a meeting with Foreign Minister Rex Tillerson, wherein Minister Tillerson reiterated the full support of the United States for AL-Sarraj, the Government of National Accord, and the Libyan political agreement.
Secretary Tillerson also praised Al-Sarraj for his strong partnership in counterterrorism efforts and the defeat of ISIS; expressing the United States commitment to supporting the efforts of the Libyan people to build a more stable and prosperous future.
Tillerson also discussed the need for all Libyans and international parties to support the plan of action of the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations to Libya Ghassan Salame in order to move forward in the process of national political reconciliation and to create the necessary conditions for Libya to hold successful national elections.
He added that the United States continues to urge all Libyan parties to engage constructively in the mediation efforts lead by Ghassan Salame, including his ongoing efforts to negotiate amendments to the Libyan political agreement. Tillerson stated that the LPA remains as the only viable framework for a political solution in Libya and that attempts to circumvent the United Nations-sponsored political process or impose a military solution to the conflict would only destabilize Libya and provide opportunities for ISIS and other terrorist groups to threaten the United States of America and allies.
The political adviser to the President Al-Sarraj, Tahir Al-Sanni, described the visit as being fruitful. He added that there is a full understanding of the role of the Government of National Accord, an emphasis on providing support for the political agreement as a solution to the crisis until the elections, as well as continuing strategic cooperation for the stability of Libya in the fight against terrorism and reconstruction.