Category Archives: Maghreb

Michel statement on Libya

“I would like to thank Chancellor Merkel, and the organisers of today’s conference, for your tireless work at this critical moment in the Libyan crisis” reads the statement of the EU Council president Charles Michel, issued after the Berlin Conferenece on Libya, which took place on Sunday, January 19.

https://twitter.com/eucopresident/status/1218904848898449409?s=21

It is encouraging to see the most influential regional and international partners come together in support of the UN-led efforts to find a political solution to the Libyan crisis.

As the EU has consistently stated, the only sustainable solution is through UN mediation efforts that put the needs of all Libyan people to the forefront.

I wish to reaffirm today the commitment of the European Union to the immediate cessation of hostilities in Libya in the interest of stability in its immediate neighborhood. We support the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya, and this in the interest of regional stability and prosperity – this is vital for Europe.

We have supported German-led mediation efforts launched last year in support of the UN peace process. I would like to pay special tribute to UN Special Representative Salame, who, under the authority of Secretary General Guterres, has made every effort to bring the parties to the negotiations table in order to find a political solution to the conflict.

We would like to encourage cooperation with the African Union and the League of Arab States.

In recent weeks, High Representative Borrell and I have worked to support the conclusion of a ceasefire and for the relaunch of the peace process.

We are committed to play an important role in the follow-up to the Berlin Conference. We represent Libya’s main economic partner and primary investor. Libyan youths look to Europe when they study abroad. Libya’s long term prosperity depends on these economic and cultural ties.

That is why the EU is gearing up to implement the outcome of the Berlin Conference. We are ready to mobilise our means where they are most needed.

In the short term, our contribution to the follow-up to this Conference, we are reflecting on how best to contribute to the monitoring of the ceasefire and the respect of the arms embargo. On the arms embargo, the EU was the only regional organisation to enforce it after 2016. We intend to continue that effort, working with our partners around this table, to cover all the corridors where the embargo is being violated.

In the longer term, as conditions allow, we hope to make progress in other areas of the proposed Conclusions:

political – to support a future national conference, the organisation of elections, and possible work on the constitution;
economic – actions focused on capacity building in national institutions, such as the National Oil Company, Central Bank and Libyan Investment Authority;
security sector reform (through our Common Security and Defence Policy instruments, including the existing civilian mission EUBAM);
and human rights – the EU wishes to bring its expertise.
The EU is ready to host a Senior Officials Meeting of the International Follow-up Committee tasked with implementing the Conference Conclusions. And we are ready to play an active role in the technical working groups created by this process.

Now it is time for all members of the international community to work together to consolidate the ceasefire and respect the UN arms embargo and also preserve the unity of Libya’s financial institutions on which the unity of the country itself depends.

In the past, we have shown unity on a number of these objectives. For example, thwarting illegal attempts to purchase oil outside the official circuit. In other areas, we should have done better, in particular, on the arms embargo, as highlighted by the UN in its reports.

Moving forward, we should also avoid unilateral actions, such as the signing of agreements, which exacerbate the conflict. I am aiming at the actions that are incompatible with international law and which create a pretext for external interference in the Libyan conflict. The European Union has taken an unambiguous position on this, with the conclusions of the European Council on 12 December 2019.

Today we are committed to the Berlin process and the UN mediation efforts that put the needs of the Libyan people first. Today is an important step, but much work remains to be done. We are ready to contribute.Xxxxxx

Berlin conference on Libya failed

Concluding Berlin conference on Libya, German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered an insight into the problems the diplomacy faced, while attempting to bring opposing parities at the table for talks.

Negotiators were unable to bring the opposing parties to the table, Merkel said.

Berlin conference has offered an international setting for opposing forces in Libya, however supported by the UN the Chairman of the aministration resideing in Tripoli (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj, and the chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar refused to meet directly to engage in talks on future settlement for Libya.

However the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell concluded the conference has been a significant event, confriming the committment of the EU to work towards peace in Libya, and he also underlined the meaningful refelection on the contribution of the ceasefire monitoring, and respect of arms embargo.

Haftar makes friends in EU

Libyan military leader Khalifa Haftar will hold talks in Athens on January 17, days ahead of a peace conference in Berlin which he and the head of Tripoli’s UN-recognised government Fayez al-Sarraj are expected to attend, France 24 TV channel reports.

“I hope that the parties will take this opportunity to put the future of Libya back in Libyan hands,” Maas said.

“When I visited in Libyen General Haftar made it clear: he wants to contribute to the success of the Libya conference in Berlin and is generally willing to participate. He has agreed to comply with the existing armistice” German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas wrote on his Twitter microblog page.

However Greece announced it will block any European Union peace agreement for Libya, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said unless a maritime deal between Turkey and Libya is cancelled.

“Greece at the level of a summit meeting will never accept any political solution on Libya that does not include as a precondition the annulment of this agreement,” Mitsotakis told Greek television on January 16.

“To put it simply, we will use our veto.”

Greece says the deal setting border and energy exploration areas in the Mediterranean between Libya and Turkey is “unacceptable and illegal” because Greek rights in the Mediterranean are ignored.

Mitsotakis is also disappointed Greece has been excluded from a peace summit on Libya to be held on January 19 in Berlin. He added it is wrong not to invite Greece and plans to fail a complain about it to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Marshall Khalifa Haftar, the leading the Libyan National Army (LNA), arrived in Athens on January 16 to hold talks with Greek officials ahead of a conference in Berlin on the Libyan crisis, Milli Gazete said.

Haftar has met Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on January 17, the media reports said.

Germany has invited the United States, Russia, Turkey, France, Egypt, Britain, and others to the Libya summit. Both British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will attend.

Libya: Berlin conference impasse

Khalifa Haftar, Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), and head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj have been invited to attend the Berlin conference on Libya set to take place on January 19, German Government spokesperson announced.
“Both have been invited,” she said. “I cannot say anything for sure regarding their participation.”
The conference is “the beginning of the negotiating process under the auspices of the UN,” the spokesperson continued. She noted that it is important to create conditions for Libya to be able to take part in the regulation process on its territory.

The international conference on Libya will take place on January 19 in Berlin. The German government’s press service informed on Tuesday that Russia, the US, China, the UK, Italy, France, Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of the Congo, along with representatives of the UN, the EU, the African Union and the Arab League are set to take part in the conference.
During a meeting with Chancellor Merkel on January 11, President Putin said that in order to make the conference meaningful, the participants must be genuinely interested in support of Libyan conflict resolution.

Describing the situation in Libya and perpectives of Berlin process, while addressing the European Parliament the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said: “We need to engage strongly, keep Libya united and find a peaceful solution to this conflict”

At present there is growing scepticim among experts and commentators about the potential of Berlin conference. The failre to sing an agreement between Haftar and al-Sarraj in Moscow is seen as a bad omen.

Image above: Berlin

Moscow hosts Libya talks

Negotiations between the parties to the conflict in Libya, held in Moscow, Russia. ended without signing a ceasefire agreement, told RIA Novosti adviser to the head of the Libyan parliament, Hamid al-Safi.

Negotiations between the heads of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Defense of Russia and Turkey with representatives of the conflict parties of Libya lasted more than six hours.

At the meeting, they discussed the possibility of signing an armistice agreement between the Libyan National Accord Government Fayez Sarraj and the head of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Sassoli welcomes Libya truce

“I welcome the announcement of a ceasefire in Libya between Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar. The halt to the armed conflict is the first fundamental step in the right direction” reads the statement of the presdient of the European Parliament David Sassoli (pictured).

“This is a result for which the European Union has worked hard for. I would like to thank High Representative Josep Borrell, European Council President Charles Michel, and national governments who showed unity in support of the initiative of the European Union. It is now necessary to consolidate this result and relaunch, after months of stalemate, the dialogue between the parties to find a political solution to the Libyan crisis. The European Union, under the auspices of the United Nations and within the framework of the Berlin Process, can and must play a leading role in facilitating this. Our goal is a stable Libya, democratic and free from external interference. It is not for anyone but the Libyan people themselves to decide on their future. The European Union is ready to do its part.”

In spite of the announced ceasefire in Libya, initiated by Turkey and Russia, Libyans witnessed a heavy fighting and air strikes on January 12, though both warring factions accused each other of violating the truce as military operations continued around the capital Tripoli.

Michel discusses Libya with Al-Sisi

Charles Michel, President of the European Council met with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, President of Egypt, in Cairo.

The crisis in Libya was at the core of their discussion. President Michel reiterated that a political process is the only way forward and the Libyans should be at the heart of defining their future. Both expressed support for the Berlin process and UN initiatives which are key to reaching a political solution.

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