Libya, Germany discuss demilitarisation and ceasefire

Libyan and German Foreign Ministers in Tripoli. [Photo: GNA]
The German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who met his Libyan counterpart but not the Turkish or Qatari delegations on his visit to Libya, said the process started in Berlin remained the framework for resolving the conflict, and backed calls for a demilitarised zone around Sirte.

“We see a deceptive calm in Libya right now. Both sides and their international allies are continuing to arm the country on a massive scale and are sticking to preconditions for a ceasefire,” Maas said.

Maas stressed the need to begin direct talks between the two parties and stop the escalation near Sirte, the site of recent military confrontations.

He also called for the lifting of the oil blockade and the equitable distribution of the war-wracked country’s vast oil wealth.

For his part, Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Taher Siala said his country does not need more initiatives to resolve the conflict but a constitution that paves the way for democratic elections.

Siala added that the GNA strongly rejected Operation Irini, a European Union mission aimed at enforcing a toothless 2011 UN arms embargo, saying it “does not monitor the transfer of weapons and mercenaries to the aggressor”.

Maas is due to travel to Abu Dhabi later in the day to meet his counterpart there to urge him to use the UAE’s influence with Haftar “in line with the Berlin summit”.

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