Germany Hosts Crucial Summit In Bid To End Libyan Fighting, Prevent ‘New Syria’

Representatives of more than 10 countries, including Turkey, the United States, and Russia, are expected to gather in Berlin on January 19 in an attempt to end the conflict in Libya and prevent what some fear could be another Syria-like refugee flood.

China, Britain, Italy, France, Egypt, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates are expected to send representatives as well for the summit, hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The United Nations, European Union, and Arab League will also participate, officials said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have already arrived or confirmed they will attend. The leaders of the two Libyan warring factions are also expected to participate.

A U.S. official traveling with Pompeo told reporters in Berlin that Libya’s conflict is increasingly becoming like Syria, where a multiyear civil war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions, with many fleeing to Europe to create an immigration crisis.

“I think it’s so complex and the heels are so far dug in that I would have moderate expectations as we go into this,” the official said on the eve of the summit.

At the meeting, Germany and the UN will push rival Libyan camps fighting over the capital, Tripoli, to agree to a truce and monitoring mechanism as first steps toward peace, diplomats and a draft communique said.

Libya has two rival administrations, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and military strongman Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) in the city of Tobruk.

The GNA is supported by NATO-member Turkey and its ally Qatar. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced earlier this month that he had dispatched military elements to Libya to ensure stability for the GNA.

UN experts and diplomats say that Russian military contractors in recent months have deployed alongside Haftar’s LNA, which has also received air support from the United Arab Emirates and backing from Jordan and Egypt.

Turkey and Russia have both been criticized by UN and Western officials who say their efforts to arm their allies have led to an intensification of the violence.

Putin has denied any direct military involvement in the Libyan conflict.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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» Germany Hosts Crucial Summit In Bid To End Libyan Fighting, Prevent ‘New Syria’ | Radio Free | Radio Free | https://www.radiofree.org/2020/01/18/germany-hosts-crucial-summit-in-bid-to-end-libyan-fighting-prevent-new-syria/ | 2022-07-04T06:05:44+00:00
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