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SVG’s diplomatic relations with Libya put on hold

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This country has put its diplomatic relations with Libya on hold.

Senator Dr Douglas Slater, this country’s Foreign Minister, made the disclosure on Thursday, September 29{{more}}, as he responded to a question from Opposition Parliamentarian Dr Godwin Friday on the status of this country’s relations with Libya.

Slater said this country had not broken relations with Libya, but intends to put diplomatic relations on hold until the government here is satisfied that there is an established government there.

“We are prepared to acknowledge a government when we think that government truly represents the full wishes of all parties in Libya,” the foreign minister said.

He explained that at the 66th meeting of the United Nations, the General Assembly had to come to a decision for the seating of the National Transitional Council (NTC) which had become the interim body to represent Libya during the 2011 Libyan civil war.

On March 5, the NTC issued a statement in which it declared itself as the only legitimate body to represent the Libyan people and state.

However, Slater in his response, said that the decision for seating a member is guided by a set of principles and documents, including the Montevideo Convention which outlines four basic criteria for seating a member to the UN.

Of the four criteria, Slater explained that their decision was based on the fact that a state seeking a seat on the UN must have a government and the capacity to enter into relations with other states.

“If you don’t have a proper government, I don’t know that there is a minister of foreign affairs, for example,” Slater said.

He further said that based on the current situation, the Council was not yet ready to be acknowledged as the representative for Libya.

“Others have, but we view the position we have taken as principled.”

The foreign minister said that the government has been following what has been going on in Libya and, although a virtual mission accomplished was declared after rebels took over that country’s capital Tripoli, there have still been reports of fierce resistance in other parts of Libya.

“In other words, there are still a lot of uncertainties in this whole thing,” Slater said.

He further explained that CARICOM member states had taken a similar view as the African Union.

It was Angola that suggested that the decision to seat the Council as the Libyan representative at the UN be deferred.

This country and Jamaica deferred their votes, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and Belize abstained, and the rest of the CARICOM member states were absent. (DD)

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