Merkel aims to get commitment to Libya arms embargo at Berlin conference

German Chancellor Angela Merkel . EPA-EFE/FILIP SINGER

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the willingness shown by Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar to stick to a ceasefire in Libya and said a conference in Berlin on Sunday must try to get a weapons embargo enforced again.

“It is a good message that he is willing to keep to the ceasefire,” Merkel said at a news conference with the Croatian prime minister on Thursday.

“At the Libya conference we must above all see that the weapons embargo is adhered to again, which is basically agreed by the UN but unfortunately not kept to,” she said.

Earlier it was announced U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Germany this weekend to attend the Libya conference and push for sustaining a fragile ceasefire and getting all foreign powers to withdraw from the conflict in the North African country, the State Department and U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Germany on Sunday hosts a summit bringing together foreign powers and the Libyan rival camps backed by them to try to end the war over Tripoli and resume talks on a power-sharing deal.

The conference will come days after failed efforts by Russia and Turkey to persuade Khalifa Haftar, whose forces control much of Libya’s east and south, on a visit to Moscow this week to agree to a lasting ceasefire and halt the offensive on the Libyan capital. Haftar left Moscow without signing the proposal.

“Successful outcome would be – the primary issue there is the ceasefire,” a senior State Department official told reporters in a teleconference. “Other things of course would be nice to have … but the imperative would be the continuation of a ceasefire,” the official said.


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