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Libya's Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj and Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin during the Libyan leader's visit to Germany in December 2017 / Photo: Bundesregierung

Berlin talks seek way out of Libya impasse

All the parties to the civil war in Libya will gather in the German capital city on Sunday in renewed efforts for peace in the North African country.

Convened by Chancellor Angela Merkel, the talks bring together Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, who is the head of the United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), and Khalifa Haftar, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), who are expected to be joined by the heads of state and government of all the main countries directly and indirectly involved, as well as representatives of the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League.

Khalifa Haftar, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA)/Photo: Wikipedia

 

The war has raged since Haftar’s forces began an advance on the capital, Tripoli, in April last year.

The warring sides earlier this month agreed to a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey, though Haftar dramatically departed talks in Moscow on 12 January before signing the formalised agreement with al-Sarraj.

Sunday’s summit is the latest attempt to restore stability and peace to Libya, which has been wracked with conflicts among different warring factions since former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed during a NATO-supported uprising in 2011.

Even though the UN officially backs the Tripoli government, countries such as Egypt, UAE and Russia have been supporting the rebel forces, whose objective is to topple the government. Even the European Union is divided on the Libyan question. France is said to support Haftar, while Italy, the former colonial power, is said to be close to al-Sarraj. In a development that further could complicate the conflict, Turkey began deploying its troops to Libya in support of the al-Saraj on 5 January.

The hope of the German government is that a ceasefire will be agreed by both sides of the conflict and pave way for new talks for a long-term solution.

Adira Kallo

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