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Armed groups in Libya must be dismantled, Senior U.S. diplomat says

The Libya Address Journal

U.S. Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker, considered it necessary to dismantle armed militias in Libya because peace and security in the Mediterranean region were at stake.

During a testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Libya, Schenker said “negotiations need to seriously address difficult issues driving the conflict, including the dismantling of non-state armed groups— “militias”—that operate with impunity; the rooting out of extremist elements; and the reunification and reform of Libya’s economic institutions to ensure transparency and the just distribution of Libya’s resources.”

“If the violence continues, it will only harden positions on all sides and make finding a viable solution more difficult,” he added. “We are conveying to Libyans on all sides of the conflict – as well as their foreign backers – that the conflict must be resolved through negotiations.”

“What is at stake is more than Libya, but peace and stability across the southern and eastern Mediterranean region,” Schenker warned.

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