Berlin Peace Initiative For Libya Receives Support At Munich Conference

Rodrigo Zuleta

Munich (Germany), Feb. 16 (EFE) .- Representatives of twelve countries, as well as the UN, the African Union, the European Union (EU) and the Arab League, on Sunday shuffled formulas to promote a peace process in Libya , following the principles of the so-called ‘Berlin initiative’, at a meeting held outside the Munich Security Conference.

The meeting, which was chaired by the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, and Stephanie Williams, representative of the UN commissioner for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, who could not finally participate for health reasons, had no concrete results and is considered as a step in a process that should be followed by subsequent meetings in order to make the parties in conflict sit at the negotiating table.

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Before the meeting, the German Foreign Minister had said that the objective was to implement ‘step by step what in Berlin had been agreed upon’.

He alluded to the meeting on January 19 in the German capital, where 16 states and organizations had pledged to end the interference in the Libyan conflict, despite which arms shipments to that country have continued in recent weeks.

After today’s meeting, the ministers of Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Congo, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States, in a joint statement found that there had been a discussion on the deplorable violations of the arms embargo ‘and that the joint commitment to implement it and to seek an adequate system to monitor it had been renewed.

The participating ministers also appealed to the parties to the conflict to accelerate negotiations to achieve a permanent ceasefire.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, in statements to German media, even accused Turkey of displacing troops from Syria to Libya.

Maas, on the other hand, considered it necessary for the EU to commit itself more in the search for a solution in Libya because otherwise, he said, there is a risk that the conflict will become endemic as in Syria, and unlike the Saudi minister , highlighted the contribution of Turkey in the search for a solution to the conflict.

In a subsequent act at the Security Conference, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio said that contributing to the peace process in Libya is “an obligation for the EU and something that specifically for Italy is of strategic importance.”

‘The Berlin conference was a key step. Unfortunately, the ceasefire and the arms embargo are permanently broken, ‘said di Maio, who was among the meeting attendees.

In the Libyan conflict, the Government of National Unity led by Fayez Al Serraj is politically and financially supported by the EU, the UN, Italy and Qatar, and also receives military support from Turkey, while rebel marshal Jalifa Hafter has the backing from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, while France and the US support him politically.

The so-called ‘Berlin process’, driven by Germany, supports the UN plan that begins by ending the interference of third countries in the conflict and then making the parties sit at the negotiating table.

Subsequently, the UN Security Council supported, in a resolution on February 12, the objectives of the ‘Berlin process’. That resolution was held today expressly after the meeting.

Following the meeting in Munich, according to Maas, other meetings of the group of participants should be organized to pave the way for a peace process.

The group has established itself as ‘International Follow-up Commite on Lybia’ (IFCL) and will meet regularly under the leadership of the UN and a rotating presidency, whose next turn corresponds to Italy. EFE

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