Marco Rubio Backs Effort to Counter Russian Influence in Libya

Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., paired up with other members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to introduce a proposal to help a diplomatic situation to the continued conflict in Libya by imposing sanctions on key individuals and countering Russia influence in that North African nation.

Rubio, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Ct., brought out the “Libya Stabilization Act” which sanctions “individuals fueling violence in the country, require a report on foreign government involvement and a strategy to counter Russian influence, specifically the Russian mercenary group Wagner, which is increasing its presence in Libya” and would also “marshal U.S. resources, including humanitarian assistance, to support the Libyan people and an eventual unified Libyan government.”

Towards the end of last week, Rubio weighed in on the proposal.

“It is in America’s, and our allies’ interest, to have a stable and secure Libya. That is why we should be actively engaged in working to foster a resolution to the ongoing conflict,” Rubio said. “This bill is an important step in holding accountable those actors, both domestic and foreign, who are destabilizing Libya and supporting a diplomatic solution to the conflict as well as the Libyan people.”

“The conflict in Libya is a humanitarian crisis that continues to fuel instability and present opportunities for extremist groups in the region,” Coons, who introduced the bill, said. “The United States should play a constructive role in ending the war and stemming the regional and international repercussions of the violence. My hope is that the bipartisan Libya Stabilization Act will strengthen the Administration’s efforts to bring about a diplomatic solution in Libya and signal to parties on the ground that the United States is committed to supporting peace and stability for the Libyan people.”

“I am pleased to be a part of this bipartisan effort to focus on a peaceful solution to the conflict in Libya,” Graham said. “Our goal is to prevent the Libyan conflict from spreading and allowing the entire region to become breeding ground for terrorists.  I appreciate Senator Coons’ hard work and am glad to join him in this effort to end the conflict and promote stability for the Libyan people.”

“Absent sustained engagement by the United States, the security vacuum in Libya will continue to give space to operate for terrorists and extremists and deepen the country’s humanitarian crisis,” Murphy said. “The Libya Stabilization Act will telegraph to the world that the United States is committed to achieving peace in the country, and that we’re ready to hold Khalifa Haftar or any bad actors who seek to fuel violence accountable.”

The bill was sent to the Foreign Relations Committee last week. So far, there is no version of the bill over in the U.S. House.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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