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Like a “feeling of optimism” about Tripoli

(BRUSSELS2) Agostino Miozzo, the director of the crisis management department of the European diplomatic service, displayed his optimism yesterday, when he came before the press, on his return from his mission in Libya. The " changes are rapid. We arrived on the 31st. There was still sniper fire. And the next day, September 1, the situation was almost calm, with children and women on the streets, and the feeling of a return to normality.. Impression confirmed on Monday, at the end of Ramadan. " People were going back to their jobs, the shops were reopening. »

An SMS from the CNT and victory in football

Some had received an SMS from the CNT: go back to work, life must resume, return to normal ". Additional sign: the " car traffic had resumed, as chaotic as usual in Tripoli. As for the international airport, it could be reopened in ten days or two weeks; the military airport being already open. And when Libya won the football match (as part of the first round of the African Cup of Nations), " it was madness. Everyone was in the street, shouting their joy, with shots in the air everywhere.”

The European flag: a guarantee of normality

“The goal of our mission is to assert our presence, to have initial relations with the government. » The fact that the European flag raised on the hotel which houses the provisional office of the European Union in Tripoli had a " extraordinary impact on politicians, personalities, population » he explained. Ali Targhani, Deputy Prime Minister of the CNT in charge of Finance and Oil, “one of the key men for tomorrow”, with whom the delegation was able to speak “ told us the importance of this flag. Because it is seen as a guarantee of a return to normality for the Libyan population..

“Sincere” leaders

Agostino Miozzo is also optimistic about those currently running Libya: If these people become the leaders of tomorrow, we are in good hands. They are sincere, open, proud of their country. » But he warns, it will be reconciliation and continuity of activities which will be the “key” for the future. The situation remains marked by a certain “fragility”.

The advice of the CNT: avoid a new Iraq and Afghanistan

The representatives of the CNT explained to the Europeans " to avoid evaluation missions that follow one another without a follow-up. They want coordination of international efforts ". They don't want to start the mistakes made in Afghanistan or Iraq explains a European expert on the matter. Avoid the " international circus, where everyone comes, everyone brings their solution, and which leads to just as much chaos. A circus which is not only the work of humanitarian organizations, but also of security and economic organizations... "

The emergencies

In the immediate future the big challenge is the “ resumption of the distribution and supply chain”, imperative in particular for hospitals. In the medium term, it will be to recover the weapons in circulation. " It's not an easy job. We don't know who has Kalashnikovs. But then we will have a regular army, a civilian police force, and they will be hired ". Among the priorities of the provisional government of Libya on which the Europeans are ready to provide support, there are: “ the security sector (borders, civil police, and possibly defense), water supply, support for civil society, women, human rights ". But explains Agostino Miozzo, it is above all up to the Libyans to define what they want.

A second mission quickly

A second team should leave “ in a few days » to strengthen the first team on site. According to our information, it will be an inter-service team made up of diplomats or experts from the EEAS as well as agents of the European Commission. About ten people in all. On the other hand, the opening of the EU delegation – as such – will not be able to happen for several weeks, or even months,” one interlocutor told us.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).