Germany’s Foreign Minister arrived in Libya today for the reopening of his country’s embassy which closed in 2014 as diplomats left the North African country when the security situation deteriorated during the so-called Second Libyan Civil War. Most continued to work from neighbouring Tunisia.
“Today, we want to show with the reopening that Germany is and will remain a committed partner of Libya,” said Heiko Maas in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. “We want to have a voice [here] again.”
Given that there is now a national unity government, the oil blockade has been ended and the weapons have mostly been silenced, Maas added that, “Libya needs continued international engagement to achieve progress for all people.”
Following the NATO-backed toppling and killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and subsequent civil war, Libya fell again into internal conflict in 2014 after attempts to form a democratic state failed. The country was split between rival governments, the then-internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli and the Tobruk administration in the east.
The war was brought to an end last October following a permanent ceasefire brokered by the UN, which included the German-backed Berlin Process aimed at ending the conflict. Germany also hosted the Second Berlin Conference in June this year. In March, a Government of National Unity was formed as a provisional government ahead of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled to take place in December.