Any peace process in Libya requires a political process – Conte

epa08124912 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (L) attend a press conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey, 13 January 2020. Conte is visiting Turkey for talks on regional developments especially the Libyan conflict. EPA-EFE/STR

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Any ceasefire in Libya will be “precarious” without a political process to firm it up, Premier Giuseppe Conte said after talks in Ankara on Monday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Libyan Premier Fayez al-Sarraj and his eastern Libyan adversary General Khalifa Haftar were in Moscow Monday to sign a ceasefire agreement ahead of a conference in Berlin next weekend. Sarraj signed, but Haftar said he wanted time until Tuesday morning.

Erdogan said that he, Conte and Russian President Vladimir Putin would take part in the Berlin conference along with all the Libyan actors.

“The ceasefire can prove to be a very precarious measure unless it is inserted into an effort by the international community to guarantee stability for Libya”, Conte said.

“And for this reason we have agreed on the desirability of accelerating the Berlin process”.

Conte said that Italy supports “the process already mapped out under the aegis of the UN. “The EU will have a great role in Berlin but also Turkey and Russia will have one”. He made an appeal for the Libyan people to seek peace and democracy. “I make an appeal to all the Libyan people,” Conte said.

“With every act they take every day they decide their future.

“If they want to have prosperity and to open up to a full democratic life, they will always have an ally in Italy, because we don’t seek to interfere in a way that could condition a future scenario of full autonomy and stability”.

Erdogan said “after my talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres I can say that there may be the possibility of a UN presence, of observers,” in Libya.

Erdogan said the talks in Moscow were continuing in a “positive” way. He said the ceasefire should be “permanent” and lay “solid” foundations for the future. Erdogan also said that Italy “is a strategic partner and ally” of Turkey. “I hope this visit may intensify our relations.

“This year we will hold an intergovernmental summit, we haven’t had one since 2012”.


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