World powers meet in Berlin to seek lasting peace in LibyaEuropost
World powers are gathering on Wednesday in Berlin to seek lasting peace in Libya by ensuring the conflict-wracked North African country stays firmly on the path towards general elections on 24 December, news wires reported. Representatives of Libya's interim government will join US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as well as the foreign ministers of regional and global leaders at the UN-sponsored talks.
Most of the paricipants – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely the US, UK, France, Russia and China – as well as Italy, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the EU and the UN already met at the first Berlin Conference on Libya in January 2020.
Ahead of the talks, host German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas reminded participants of pledges made in 2020 for an end to international meddling and for foreign militants or troops to withdraw.
"Those who promised to withdraw last time in Berlin have not kept their word," Maas said in an interview with Die Welt daily. "But for the Libyans to determine the fate of their country again, the foreign forces must leave. The transitional government has also made that clear," he stressed.
According to estimates by the UN, some 20,000 foreign mercenaries were stationed in Libya in December 2020, and the figure has not significantly changed. Arms deliveries have also not stopped.
But there is some progress: A ceasefire has been established, an interim government set up and parliamentary elections are planned for 24 December.
The day before the conference, Libya's new Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush called for regular meetings at ministerial level as a way to resolve conflict in her war-torn country.