Exclusive Interview: Norland says US to sanction elections’ obstructionists

In an exclusive interview with 218News, the US ambassador and special envoy to Libya, Richard Norland, spoke about the importance of the outcomes of the Paris Conference on Libya, which was held Friday in the French capital, explaining the US position on the holding of the Libyan elections and the possibility of obstructing them, in addition to the US reaction to the obstruction if it happened.

Norland described the elections as the only key to stability in Libya, stressing the United States’ support for the electoral process scheduled for December 24, and for the Libyan people to ensure its completion on time.

Norland praised the efforts of the High National Elections Commission, describing the commission as “a technical institution that works with high professionalism, and said it had paved the way with high efficiency for holding elections on time.”

On the possibility of obstructing the holding of the elections, Norland stressed that the United States and the international community will take the necessary position to punish anyone who calls for violence, before, during or after elections, and affirmed the need of taking appropriate reactions towards anyone who obstructs elections.

He added that the United States is not currently considering imposing sanctions on anyone in particular, but rather on those who are willing to incite or advocate violence, either to obstruct the conduct of the elections when they start, or to question the results after they emerge.

Norland expressed the United States’ confidence in holding successful elections before the New Year, stressing that finding a democratically elected government in Libya would result in a more equitable distribution of wealth, and would put the Libyan people in a better and more prosperous position.

He concluded by expressing the US administration’s appreciation for the 5+5 Commission, for its preparation of balanced and gradual plans of action for the exit of forces, foreign fighters and mercenaries.

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