Libya summit: Participants agree to respect embargo

Countries with interests in Libya’s long-running conflict agreed to provide no further military support to the warring parties while a ceasefire lasts.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made the announcement at Sunday’s peace summit in Berlin after about four hours of talks at the chancellery.

“We agreed on a comprehensive plan forward,” Merkel said. “I can say that all participants worked really constructively together.

“We all 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.”

Leaders of Libya’s warring sides and foreign powers met on ways to end the long-running conflict in the oil-rich North African country.

The head of Tripoli’s internationally recognised government, Fayez al-Sarraj, and his rival, renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, attended the UN-backed gathering in the German capital, the first of such event since 2018.

Haftar must end his aggressive stance to pave the way for a political process, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the summit.

“To implement the other stages of the political process and solution, Haftar’s aggressive stance must come to an end,” Erdogan said in comments broadcast on Turkish television at the start of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday hit out against foreign troop deployments in war-ravaged Libya, saying such intervention only serves to fuel the conflict.

Voicing his “acute concerns over the arrival of Syrian and foreign fighters in the city of Tripoli”, Macron said “that must end”. 

Also in Berlin were Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Other countries invited were the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Algeria, China and the Republic of Congo.

Leaders from the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League also attended.

Merkel previously said enforcing a UN arms embargo on Libya would be a priority at the summit attended by the leading parties in Libya’s war, as well as representatives from their foreign backers and other nations.

“It will be extremely difficult to see how Berlin can convince all the parties to stop providing weapons to the warring factions and stop interfering in Libya when they have different agendas,” Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Berlin, said.

Haftar is backed by the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and, most recently, Russian mercenaries. France has also been accused of giving him some support.


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