Tripoli, 28 May 2021

Salaam alaykum, good afternoon!

I am very pleased to be here, finally, in Libya. This is a moment we in the European Commission have been waiting for for a long time. I am very pleased to see for the first time Prime Minister [Abdul Hamid] Dbeiba, and also Foreign Minister [Najla] Mangoush and Minister of Interior [Khaled] Mazen.

This is a beginning of a new and renewed partnership with Libya we have been trying to put in place for quite a while. Now is the moment! Libya is set to come back and to be a key player in the region, and a stable, reliable partner for the region and the EU. This is a milestone in our cooperation. And this visit is the first mission of a European Commission in Libya for quite a while, and the first since the formation of the new unity government.

The formation of the government of unity has created a unique opportunity to rebuild peaceful and stable Libya and to restore national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We in the European Commission remain strongly committed to support the Libyan people and the new Libyan institutions. Our commitment to the Berlin process remains unwavering.

Stability and prosperity is in the interest of Libya, the people of Libya and it is in the interest of the EU too.

Following these historical developments, we are pleased to reengage with the Libyan authorities. The reopening of the EU Delegation in Tripoli earlier this month and my visit today are very important signals from the EU. I hope these are only the first steps towards relaunching the cooperation between the EU and the Libyan Government. I would like to see us build a new partnership, similar to the ones we have with started already with your neighbours.

In fact, this year the European Union set out a new ambitious Agenda for the Mediterranean to renew the relations with our immediate neighbours and partners. We would like Libya to be part of this common partnership we have created for the entire region. This is why I am here. We have shared our ideas and assessment of the key challenges. I hope I also speak for the ministers when we analyses the state of play as follows:

Libya is a country returning to stability and security, it needs a functioning economy – an economy that provides work and is reliable source of living for the people. And Libya needs security and stability which is undermined by illegal migration.

These are common challenges on which we are ready to work together with Libya. We went through all the key issues and I am very happy that I have seen openness, even more - immediate engagement from the Libyan government to work together.

From our side, we are ready to engage with you each and every day, we are ready to work with you for Libya that is safe, free, prosperous and secure. This is why we came with our partners, Italy and Malta, two member states closest geographically to Libya, and we are showing with this that we care for Libya and that we are ready to work with you, together.

We think that we have a bright future ahead of us, because this country has all the potential it needs. It will now come without effort: It needs a lot of attention and consistent daily work – we are ready to engage and be here every day, helping you reach it.

Thank you!