World lead­ers com­mit­ted to end­ing for­eign med­dling in Libya

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Ber­lin, Ger­many - World lead­ers com­mit­ted to end­ing all for­eign med­dling in Libya’s civil war at a Ber­lin sum­mit on Sun­day, and to up­hold a weapons em­bargo as part of a broader plan to end the long-run­ning con­flict.

The pres­i­dents of Rus­sia, Turkey and France were among global chiefs sign­ing up to the agree­ment to stop in­ter­fer­ing in the war - be it through weapons, troops or fi­nanc­ing.

But the talks failed to de­liver ‘se­ri­ous di­a­logue’ be­tween the war­ring par­ties - strong­man

Khal­ifa Haf­tar and the head of Tripoli’s UN-recog­nised gov­ern­ment Fayez al Sar­raj - or to get both sides to sign up to a per­ma­nent truce. “En­sur­ing that a cease­fire is im­me­di­ately re­spected is sim­ply not easy to guar­an­tee,” said sum­mit host Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel. “But I hope that through to­day’s con­fer­ence, we have a chance the truce will hold fur­ther.”

US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo ac­knowl­edged that there are ‘still some ques­tions on how well and ef­fec­tively’ the com­mit­ments can be mon­i­tored.

But he said he is ‘op­ti­mistic that there will be less vi­o­lence and... an op­por­tu­nity to be­gin the con­ver­sa­tion that (UN spe­cial en­voy) Ghas­san Salame has been try­ing to get go­ing be­tween the Libyan par­ties’.

Libya has been torn by fight­ing be­tween ri­val armed fac­tions since a 2011 NATO-backed up­ris­ing killed Moam­mar Gad­hafi.

Most re­cently, Sar­raj’s troops in Tripoli have been un­der at­tack since April from Haf­tar’s forces.

Clashes have killed more than 280 civil­ians and 2,000 fighters and dis­placed tens of thou­sands, un­til a frag­ile cease­fire backed by both Ankara and Moscow was put in place on Jan­uary 12.

UN chief An­to­nio Guter­res said the world pow­ers had made ‘a strong com­mit­ment to stop’ the con­flict.

Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergey Lavrov pointed to some pos­i­tive takeaways from the talks, but said the sum­mit failed to launch nec­es­sary talks be­tween Sar­raj and Haf­tar.


World lead­ers at the peace sum­mit on Libya at the Chan­cellery in Ber­lin on Sun­day

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