US Secretary of State discussed with UN chief humanitarian cross-border mechanism and arms embargo on Iran
US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke on June 10 with UN Secretary-General António Guterres steps to end the conflict and advance a negotiated political solution in Libya, the urgent need to renew the Syria humanitarian cross-border mechanism, and the importance of extending the UN arms embargo on Iran.
US Position on Libya
The US is concerned by the Government of National Accord’s request for military support, and by the LNA’s threat to use foreign-supplied air assets and mercenaries.
The US position on Libya is that external military intervention threatens prospects for resolving the conflict. The US previously said that it is prepared to work with the UN and all the parties to initiate political negotiations. The recent inclusive U.S.-Libya Economic Dialogue in Tunis demonstrated constructive progress is possible if external actors give Libyans the time and space to engage with each other.
- Libya – Military
- Libya – Strategic Resources
- Libya – Security
Richard Norland, US Ambassador to Libya, said, “A halt in hostilities is an absolute necessity to provide public health authorities across Libya the opportunity to collaborate, in a spirit of national cohesion, to contain and overcome this outbreak”.
“Both Prime Minister Serraj’s Government of National Accord and Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army have said they would abide by a humanitarian truce. Regrettably, while each side accuses the other of violating the truce, fighting has significantly escalated in recent days, endangering healthcare workers and distracting Libyans from the more urgent task of confronting our shared enemy, COVID-19. The best approach to concretize the humanitarian truce is for General Haftar to suspend his campaign on Tripoli, allowing both sides to return to the ceasefire framework established through UNSMIL’s 5+5 negotiations in Geneva,” he added.
The US first established diplomatic relations with Syria in 1944 following the U.S. determination that Syria had achieved effective independence from a French-administered mandate. Since conflict erupted in Syria in March 2011, subsequent Executive Orders have been issued in response to the ongoing violence taking place in Syria.
The US supports the UN-facilitated, Syrian-led process mandated by UNSCR 2254. It believes that “there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict”.
The US is the largest single donor to the humanitarian response in Syria, providing over $10.6 billion in humanitarian assistance for vulnerable individuals inside Syria and those displaced in the region since the start of the crisis.
The US maintains comprehensive sanctions on Syria that broadly restrict the ability of US persons to engage in transactional dealings involving Syria. Syria has been subject to US economic sanctions since 2004 under the Syria Accountability Act, which prohibits or restricts the export and re-export of most US products to Syria.
Iran Arms Embargo
US diplomats have been circulating draft of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution that would scrap expiration of 2015 nuclear deal’s ban on weapons sales to Tehran.
Under that deal, a UN arms embargo on Iran is due to expire in October.
The a move is expected to spark opposition from Moscow, which has made no secret of its desire to resume conventional weapons sales to Tehran.
The draft document, which have been circulating among Security Council members, would see a strike of the expiration of the weapons embargo from the UNSC resolution that endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal between six major powers and Iran.