Daily Sabah – Diplomats meet on Monday for a digital follow-up to this year’s Berlin conference on Libya, with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas set to attend the talks.
Representatives of the 16 states and international organizations that took part in the summit in the German capital in January will meet online at 1330 GMT in a fresh push to get Libya on the path to peace.
Germany invited world powers and regional actors to a peace conference on Libya in a bid to thrash out a lasting cease-fire deal and pave the way for a political solution.
At the talks nine months ago, the powers involved had pledged to bring about a lasting cease-fire, implement a U.N. arms embargo and end foreign interference in the war that erupted in 2011.
Since then, the peace process in the North African country has faltered while the fighting continues. Earlier this year U.N. Libya envoy Stephanie Williams described the arms embargo as a poorly enforced “joke.”
Putschist General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, which received backing from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), began a major military offensive in April last year to capture Tripoli from the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), drawing international condemnation.
On Jan. 12, the warring sides of the Libyan conflict announced a cease-fire in response to a joint call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But talks for a permanent cease-fire deal ended without an agreement after Haftar left Moscow demanding two days to consult with local Libyan tribes for their approval, while Sarraj signed the cease-fire deal.
The new government was founded in 2015 under a U.N.-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by forces loyal to putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
The U.N. recognizes the government headed by Sarraj as the country’s legitimate authority, as Tripoli has battled Haftar’s militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has taken thousands of civilians’ lives.
Representatives of the GNA and Haftar held political talks in the Egyptian Red Sea city of Hurghada last month. Other meetings have recently been held in Morocco and Switzerland.
Monday’s talks are co-hosted by Germany and the United Nations. European countries have been trying to mediate a solution as chaos in Libya has provided ideal conditions for people-smugglers to operate in the Mediterranean Sea.