Libya conference in Berlin – Update

epa08141484 (center L-R) Russian President Vladimir Putin, acting Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, French President Emmanel Macron, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian talk at the International Libya Conference in Berlin, Germany, 19 January 2020. By means of the 'Berlin Process', German government seeks to support the peace efforts of the United Nations (UN) to bring about an end to the conflict in Libya. Following the renewed outbreak of hostilities in April 2019, UN presented a plan to stop further military escalation and resume an intra-Libyan process of reconciliation. EPA-EFE/Guido Bergmann / POOL

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The summit on the conflict in Libya has ended with an agreement to more strictly enforce the UN arms embargo. Host Angela Merkel said a “new spirit” had been created to find a lasting solution to the conflict

The main rivals in Libya’s long-running conflict and their foreign supporters met for a conference in Berlin on Sunday as part of a bid to achieve stability in the region.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the participants at Berlin conference on Libya agreed Sunday on consolidating the ceasefire announced last Sunday in Libya, reiterating that there’s no military solution to the conflict.

In a joint press conference after the conference in Berlin with UN Secretary General, UN envoy to Libya, and German Foreign Minister, Merkel added that Ghassan Salame named at the conference the members of the proposed 5+5 military committee as part of the security dialogue in Libya, saying the committee will convene next week.

She told reporters that Berlin conference contributed largely to the settlement process in Libya, adding that the state participants vowed not to provide more support to the conflict parties in Libya so the military operations can be halted.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced forming the 5+5 committee and added it will start meeting next week, reiterating that all participants agreed that there can be no military solution to the Libyan crisis despite the fact that some of them may have been part of the conflict.

Guterres added that the participants in Berlin had all sent a message that the solution in Libya is peaceful and said they were all committed to this track and would not intervene in the conflict, “which is a good result out of Berlin,” he added.

The German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the goals set at the Berlin conference had been achieved and that the UN will now supervise the peace track in Libya starting February.

Berlin conference hosted 12 countries and international as well as regional organizations to discuss solutions to the Libyan military conflict.


Earlier

The head of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, and Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), are both in Berlin.

There are 55 points in the draft communique that parties will seek to agree on during Sunday’s talks. The draft also calls for all parties to halt hostilities towards Libya’s oil facilities. The call came after Haftar-allied forces. According to CNN the communique calls for sanctions against parties found in violation of any truce agreed.

“We call upon the UNSC [United Nations Security Council] to impose appropriate sanctions on those who are found to be in violation of the ceasefire arrangements and on Member States to enforce these,” the draft communique says.

The communique also calls for foreign countries to “refrain from interference” in the conflict, resume talks for a more concrete cease-fire as well as take steps towards relaunching a political process to achieve peace in the region.

“We call on all parties concerned to redouble their efforts for a sustained suspension of hostilities, de-escalation and a permanent cease-fire,” the draft communique states.

Prior to the meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Haftar must end his aggressive stance to pave the way for a political process,  “To implement the other stages of the political process and solution, Haftar’s aggressive stance must come to an end,” Erdogan said in comments broadcast on Turkish television at the start of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Al Jazeera reports that France’s President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday hit out against foreign troop deployments in war-ravaged Libya, saying such intervention only serves to fuel the conflict. Voicing his “acute concerns over the arrival of Syrian and foreign fighters in the city of Tripoli”, Macron said “that must end”.

Just hours before the conference was due to begin, the head of the UN-backed government questioned his rival’s agenda. “Long experience makes us doubt the intentions, seriousness and commitment of the other side, whom everyone knows seeks powers at any price,” Sarraj told news agency DPA.

Report based on DW / CNN / Reuters / Al Jazeera

 

 

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