Berlin’s Libya Peace Summit: Agreement Reached on Strict UN Arms Embargo

Written by | Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

The summit in Berlin, which converged countries with interests in Libya’s long-running conflict, ended with an agreement to more strictly enforce the UN arms embargo. All the parties agreed to provide no further military support to the warring sides while a ceasefire lasts. Hailing a “new spirit” created during the negotiations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a host stressed that “all participants worked really constructively together.” Merkel then announced that all sides “agree that we should respect the arms embargo and that the arms embargo should be controlled more strongly than it has been in the past.” The final agreement, signed by 16 states and organizations, also lay out plans for international efforts to monitor the implementation of the restrictions.
Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) and the head of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, were both present in German capital city but refused to sit or meet with each other as tensions remained between the two parties. But when asked whether Haftar and Sarraj were part of the discussions at the summit, Merkel responded by saying that “we spoke with them individually because the differences between them are so great that they aren’t speaking with each other at the moment.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice President Josep Borrell issued a joint statement, saying that “this is an important step forward. Only a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process can end the conflict and bring lasting peace.”
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Europe to support Ankara’s moves in Libya, days after he ordered deployment of troops there. “To implement the other stages of the political process and solution, Haftar’s aggressive stance must come to an end,” Erdogan said the start of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Berlin. In an article published in Politico, Erdogan also warned Europe it could face new threats from “terrorist” groups if Libya’s United Nations-recognized government in Tripoli were to fall. France’s President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday lashed out against foreign troop deployments in war-torn Libya, saying such intervention only serves to fuel the bloody conflict. In a tacit reference to President Erdogan’s policies, Macron expressed his “acute concerns over the arrival of Syrian and foreign fighters in the city of Tripoli”, urging all parties involved that “that must end”.

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