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Libya Stabilization Act

Floor Speech

By: Ted Yoho
By: Ted Yoho
Date: Nov. 18, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4644, the Libya Stabilization Act. Despite a U.N. arms embargo, foreign actors are continuing to support both sides of the conflict.

For example, Russia is supporting General Haftar's Libyan National Army. AFRICOM publishes pictures of advanced Russian aircraft in Libya. AFRICOM also estimates that Russia is supporting thousands of mercenaries from the Wagner Group and from Syria to fight for Haftar. Turkey has brought in more than 5,000 Syrian mercenaries to support the Government of National Accord.

Flooding Libya with foreign mercenaries and heavy weaponry could destabilize the country and region for generations.

We need to incentivize all parties to embrace a political track to establish stable governance in Libya and end the violence. That is the purpose of this legislation before us today.

I am pleased that since our committee first considered this bill over the summer, the U.N. has managed to broker a ceasefire. The parties are using this opportunity to continue negotiations regarding the future of Libya.

Unfortunately, as we have seen many times in this conflict, there is still the possibility that spoilers could upend this peace process.

That is why, under this legislation, if individuals are threatening the peace, security, and stability of Libya, they will be subject to sanctions. But the bill clearly states that if there is a ceasefire in place, as there is at this time, at this very moment, then the sanctions do not apply.

We are using our leverage to support the emerging political process and a peaceful future for the people of Libya.

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Mr. YOHO. Mr. Speaker, in closing, I want to thank the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Deutch) and the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Wilson) for their leadership in introducing this bill, which I support.

Mr. Speaker, I urge all Members to support this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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