The year of 2011 was monumental in the restructuring of Libya’s government relations, both domestic and international. The establishment of the National Transitional Council (NTC) largely reset Libyan foreign relations and the state’s implementation of foreign policy. The NTC put forth its “Founding Statement” on 5 March 2011, proclaiming that the new government “request[s] from the international community to fulfill its obligations to protect the Libyan people from any further genocide and crimes against humanity without any direct military intervention on Libyan soil.”
With Libyan autonomy setting the stage for the state’s foreign policy in 2011, the NTC requested assistance from the international community in order to help the nation restart its foreign relations. Foreign aid was requested in the form of medical supplies, money, and military armaments, rather than placing foreign boots on the ground.
With oil being the primary source of Libyan national wealth, relations with foreign oil companies and countries with nationalized oil sectors have been of great importance since the revolution in 2011. Companies like Eni (Italy), Total (France), BP (UK), and many major American oil companies continue to be invested in promoting Libya’s stability and economic success. Additionally, this includes relations with other, non-energy related, public and private organizations (See our website’s “Economy” section for more information).
As for relations within the Middle East and North Africa region, on 27 August 2011 Libya was reinstated into the Arab League under the leadership of the NTC. A month later, the African Union officially recognized the NTC, allowing Libya to rejoin the organization. In addition to this, the NTC was asked to represent Libya in the UN, with then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stating that the UN would work with the Libyan authority to help the country transition towards democracy.
Under the NTC, representative missions were sent abroad during the revolution, with numerous countries recognizing the NTC as the governing authority in Libya. Many of these countries invited the NTC to take over their respective Libyan embassies and diplomatic offices.
Today, the Government of National Accord (GNA) was seen by the UN as replacing the NTC (and later the GNC). The GNA was formed on 17 December 2015 under the terms of the Libyan Political Agreement - a UN-led initiative - and was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council.
As for foreign policy, Libya’s foreign relations have grown under the GNA, with diplomatic missions and embassies located around the world. In terms of the current conflict, the GNA has ardently opposed foreign influence in Libya’s political processes, however, major regional and international players have posted stakes in Libya’s future as the conflict in the country continues.