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Image: Anthony Beck / Pexels
Image: Anthony Beck / Pexels

UK support for Libya is vital for global stability

Khaled Ramadan
January 17, 2024

Libya, adorned with historical significance and situated strategically at the juncture of Africa and Europe, holds the key to mutual prosperity between the continents. On the commemoration of Libya's Independence Day last month, HRH Mohammed Senussi, the Crown Prince, delivered a momentous address, not just for Libya but also for the intertwined fate of Europe and the UK. 

In his words echoed the clarion call for a stable Libya, echoing the sentiment that the nation's stability is not merely a local affair but a linchpin for global economies and security.

The geostrategic position of Libya renders it a crucial gateway for economic cooperation and energy security between the European continent and Africa. Stability in Libya is not just a fleeting hope but a catalyst for fostering sustainable partnerships in trade, investment, and energy resources. A secure Libya ensures the uninterrupted flow of energy resources, diminishing the volatility that prevails in times of conflict and unrest.

Indeed, securing stable partners for global energy resources stands as an urgent imperative, spotlighted by the stark vulnerabilities exposed during the outbreak of the Ukraine war. The West’s overreliance on Russia for energy, particularly natural gas, became a glaring vulnerability, amplifying the impact of geopolitical conflicts on energy security.

Establishing stable partnerships with nations like Libya, possessing substantial oil reserves, presents an opportunity to mitigate dependency on a single supplier and diversify our energy portfolio. A stable Libya not only offers a viable alternative but also signifies a pathway toward enhancing our energy resilience in the face of geopolitical volatility and disruptions.

HRH Senussi's announcement of the Libyan National Dialogue is a beacon of hope, heralding a new chapter for inclusive governance and self-determination in Libya. This initiative, brings together divergent voices across Libya's political spectrum, epitomizing the essence of unity and a shared vision essential for shaping the nation's future. By affording a platform for a truly Libyan-led discourse, this dialogue signifies a monumental stride towards sovereignty and self-governance.

Foreign interventions, have directly contributed to Libya's instability Quote

Europe's stake in a stable Libya transcends mere economic interests; it is deeply intertwined with security imperatives. The historical ties and geographical proximity underscore the direct impact of Libya's stability on security. The repercussions of instability in Libya reverberate widely, manifesting in waves of migration (in which over 2200 people died this year alone) and the stated fluctuations in energy markets. This interconnectedness necessitates a concerted effort to nurture stability in Libya for the collective benefit of both regions.

Foreign interventions, have directly contributed to Libya's instability. European countries, among others, have been entangled in conflicts, directly and indirectly, exacerbating internal discord and “failing to plan for the day after”, according to a report by Mohamed Eljarh Co-founder and CEO, Libya Outlook for Research and Consulting. 

According to this report, European interventionism has led to, “widespread belief in Libya that divisions among some EU member states involved in Libya is a destabilising factor contributing to the protracted conflict in the country”. This has underscored the urgency of a paradigm shift, accentuating the imperative for a homegrown approach to stability and progress in Libya.

HRH Senussi’s Libyan National Dialogue emerges as a pivotal avenue for Libyans to chart their own destiny. It represents a departure from external interventions, acknowledging that the true architects of Libya's future are its own people. This initiative warrants unwavering support from members of the international community who wield influence in shaping foreign policies and fostering international alliances.

We must acknowledge that a stable Libya aligns harmoniously with Britain’s interests and values. Economic collaborations, particularly in the energy sector, hinge on Libya's stability. The country's abundant oil reserves, North Africa’s largest with 48 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (or 39 per cent of the continent’s total), offer a mutually beneficial opportunity, ensuring a stable energy supply chain that fortifies both regions against market uncertainties.

Additionally, a stable Libya serves as a bulwark against extremism and terrorism, safeguarding us from threats that transcend borders. Leaders, through their support for Libya's internal dialogue and diplomatic engagement, can contribute significantly to fortifying security while respecting Libya's sovereignty and self-determination.

HRH Senussi's address resonates not just for Libya's quest for stability but for a renewed partnership. It beckons for a relationship based on mutual respect, collaboration, and shared prosperity. The success of the Libyan National Dialogue hinges on this collaborative spirit, urging the international community to champion this initiative and refrain from actions that could impede Libya's path to stability.

Following Libya's Independence Day last month, we must recognise that Libya's journey toward stability is not merely a national pursuit. A collective endeavour for a more secure, prosperous, and interconnected world is paramount. Unwavering support for HRH Senussi's Libyan National Dialogue will echo beyond Libya's borders, fostering a future anchored in autonomy, peace, and cooperation among nations.

KR Profile

Khaled Ramadan is a commentator on politics and international affairs based in London and Riyadh. A graduate of Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, he is an active contributor to research reports and publications.

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