5+5 Initiative Defence Ministers argue for political solution to crisis in Libya

Defence Ministers of the 5+5 Initiative were unanimous in arguing that a military option in Libya is not a solution to meet the security challenges in that country. Only a political solution is possible, they stressed at their meeting Thursday in Tunis.
This consists in the formation of a single government representing the Libyan people, said Minister of Defence Farhat Horchani.
He was speaking at a press conference held Thursday after the 11th session of the 5+5 Initiative Defence Ministers’ meeting.
Farhat Horchani said terrorism thrives in places where there are no longer a state and structures, noting that the situation in Libya remains worrying despite the significant efforts.
The minister also affirmed that Tunisia is aware of the danger and challenges awaiting it, particularly in view of the large number of Tunisians in hotbeds of tension.
They may at any time take refuge in Libya to flee the military strikes now targeting terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, he noted.
Mitigating these threats closely depends on stability in Libya, he added.
Once this country is stable, Tunisians returning from Syria and Iraq will be forced to go back to their country.
He said Tunisia has established a military and security plan, in coordination with the ministries concerned to keep an eye on Tunisians returning from hotbeds of tension and apply the counter-terrorism law to them.
On co-operation with Algeria, the minister of defence said the two countries are working in close co-ordination, particularly in terms of intelligence, noting the existence of daily co-ordination between the Algerian and Tunisian national guards to combat terrorism and smuggling on the two countries’ borders.
In his remarks, Algerian Secretary General of the Ministry of National Defence Mohamed Zenakhri commended Tunisia for having achieved, during the 11th session of the 5+ 5 Defence meeting, 75% of what it has committed to do in conditions where it is difficult to focus on issues others than preserving the national security.
“We are aware that addressing any global threat requires a global co-operation,” he said.
He noted the convergence of views between the two countries on the Libyan issue, particularly the UN proposal to form a government of national accord.
Asked on the recent meeting of Libyan stakeholders in Tunis, a few days after the meeting of Libya’s neighbouring countries in Algiers, Mohamed Zenakhri said he encourages any initiative that may contribute to restoring stability in Libya.
Algeria will chair the 2016 session of the 5+5 Defence Initiative.

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