Emmanuel Macron, the new French President, said that the “invasions” of Libya to topple Muammar Gadhafi’s rule in 2011 were a mistake. He said that France was “wrong to join the war in Libya” – Paris was a leading player in the call for European intervention in the North African country under then President Nicolas Sarkozy. The United Nations approved the imposition of a no-fly zone, which, experts say, was abused by Western countries.
In an interview with European media, a part of which was published by Il Corriere della Sera newspaper, President Macron asked, seemingly hinting the direction of his foreign policy, “what were the outcomes of these invasions?” He answered by saying that the invasions have “destroyed countries in which terrorist groups thrive now”. He also said that he did not want Libya to become another Syria, although French forces are still part of the US-led campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The Syrian regime claims that the coalition’s interventions in Syria are not legitimate.
In the meantime, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Prime Minister-designate of the UN-backed Government of National Accord, Fayez Serraj, and reiterated support to his Government of National Accord (GNA) as “the sole representative of the Libyan people.” There are two other entities competing for political authority in Libya. While discussing defense and security issues with Mr. Serraj, Mr. Stoltenberg also revealed the plan of the Alliance to build a state-of-the-art ministry of defense, joint military personnel and intelligence services under civilian control in Libya. He also commended Mr. Serraj for his “inclusive approach to the political situation” while reiterating the importance of all parties to abide by the Libyan Political Agreement for “a political solution to the crisis.”