Germany to host international conference on Libya soon, ambassador says
Germany is aiming to host a conference about Libya this year in conjunction with the United Nations to try to stabilise Libya, Germany’s ambassador to Libya said on Wednesday.
The plans, which are still in the early stages according to diplomats, are the first major diplomatic push since eastern forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar launched in April an offensive to take the capital Tripoli, held by the internationally recognised Government of National Accord.
UN Libya envoy Ghassan Salame last month unveiled plans for an international Libya conference to bring together foreign powers backing rival groups on the ground, without naming a venue.
“Germany therefore initiated a consultation process with key international partners. With sufficient preparatory work these efforts could lead towards a meaningful international event this fall,” Oliver Owcza, Germany’s ambassador to Libya, said on Twitter.
He gave no details on the event announced just after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told parliament the situation in Libya risked destabilising the whole of Africa.
Diplomatic sources said the event would be held in Berlin in October or November.
Salame thinks Germany can mediate, as it is seen as impartial in the conflict in contrast to France and Italy, which have been competing for influence and have oil and gas interests in Libya, diplomats told Reuters on Wednesday.
The conference’s goal would be to push foreign players to enforce an existing arms embargo and for a ceasefire to allow Libyans to meet afterwards for political talks, Reuters reported.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.