International support for Libya still needed

Minister Frans Timmermans of Foreign Affairs took part in the Ministerial Conference on Libya in Rome on Thursday. The ministers discussed international assistance aimed at helping the beleaguered North African country to achieve democracy, security and prosperity.

‘It is important to continue supporting Libya,’ said Mr Timmermans after the conference. The country badly needs technical assistance from the international community, not least to further its efforts to ensure security, build its national legal order and strengthen local and central government. Instability in Libya has a negative impact on security and stability throughout North Africa and the Sahel, as well as on the other side of the Mediterranean in Europe.

According to the minister, there are still many reasons to be concerned about Libya. The transition to democracy is proving to be an uphill battle, insecurity continues to increase and there is no constructive political process in place. ‘The Netherlands is willing to continue to strive to help the Libyan people, in cooperation with other countries. We cannot abandon Libya during this difficult time’, said Mr Timmermans.

Since the revolution that brought down the Gaddafi regime in 2011, the Netherlands has been contributing in various ways to the country’s reconstruction, for example by training prison and court personnel, young diplomats and civil servants. The Netherlands also provides expertise on border control and is assisting in efforts to clear mines and dispose of munitions.