Libya peace summit agrees to stricter UN arms embargo

(L-R) UN Special Envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attend a press conference on the International Libya Conference in Berlin, Germany, 19 January 2020. EPA-EFE/OMER MESSINGER / POOL

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World leaders attending the Libya peace summit in Berlin agreed on Sunday to uphold a UN arms embargo and end military backing for the North African country’s warring factions.

The agreement, signed by 16 states and organizations, also set out plans for international efforts to monitor the implementation of the restrictions after failed efforts to implement the embargo for almost a decade but without much success in the conflict-blighted country.

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), were both in Berlin but refused to sit or meet with each other as tensions remained between the two parties.

 

See full conclusions of summit here

 

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged world powers to “refrain from interference” in the conflict in Libya.

Guterres told reporters at a news conference held at the summit’s conclusion:  “I cannot stress enough the summit’s conclusion that there is no military solution to the conflict in Libya.”

“I hope the commitments made today will contribute to a lasting solution to the Libya crisis. We need to have a ceasefire. We cannot monitor something that doesn’t exist,” Guterres said. “We have a truce.”

International Libya Conference in Berlin
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (3d-L) speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) during the International Libya Conference in Berlin, Germany, 19 January 2020. EPA-EFE/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL

A joint statement by the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice President Josep Borrell said: “The participants have committed themselves to refrain from any measures and further military support to the parties that would endanger truce. This is an important step forward.”

 

See the full joint statement by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell Fontelles here

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed the declaration as she said: “We agreed on a comprehensive plan forward. I can say that all participants worked really constructively together.”

“We all agree that we should respect the arms embargo, and that it should be controlled more strongly than it has been in the past,” she said.

She added that the leaders who attended the summit had agreed to continue to hold additional meetings to ensure the process continues so that “the people in Libya get their right to a peaceful life.”

International Libya Conference in Berlin
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd-R) during the International Libya Conference in Berlin, Germany, 19 January 2020. EPA-EFE/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL

Read more via DW/German Chancellor

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