House of Lords written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the current situation in Libya in the light of the eastern part of the country being held by rebels.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The British Government is concerned at the growing instability in the East of Libya and the threat this poses to Libya’s democratic transition. It is essential that Libyans agree a single and inclusive national dialogue process to overcome the political divisions hampering progress overall, and to refrain from destabilising action that would further set back the political transition. The UK and our international partners remain committed to supporting Libya during these difficult times. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Faversham and Mid Kent (Mr Roberston), recently attended the Rome Ministerial Conference on Libya on 6 March where the international community gathered to reaffirm our support.

The UK is assisting the Libyan people in building a secure country. At the G8 meeting in Lough Erne in June 2013, the UK led international efforts to agree a Security Compact with Libya, which includes an offer to train more than 7,000 Libyan troops to help the Libyan government disarm and integrate militias and improve the security and stability of the country. This package adds to existing UK support, including provision of strategic level assistance to the Libyan armed forces and police, and forms part of the broader international effort to ensure that Libya’s democratic transition continues against the threat of violence. In addition the UK has 19 long-term military and civilian advisers including a Defence Advisory Training Team, as well as a number of short-term experts, working with the Libyan authorities across the fields of security, justice and defence. The assistance provided by the advisers includes helping to build civil service capacity; strengthening civilian oversight of their armed forces; disposal of arms and ammunition; improving access to justice; and helping to build the professionalism and capacity of the police force.

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