The EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, vows the member states to get more involved in Libya – if necessary also militarily. "If there is a ceasefire in Libya, the EU must be ready to help implement and monitor this ceasefire – possibly with soldiers, as part of an EU mission," Borrell says mirror, "At the special meeting of EU foreign ministers, we were very clear recently: The EU must do that."
The Spaniard also calls for more effort to monitor the arms embargo for the North African country. "We Europeans have been entrusted by the United Nations to implement it. In reality, the arms embargo is ineffective. Nobody controls anything there," said the EU chief diplomat.
Borrell also wants to see the growing influence of Turkey and Russia in Libya limit. "Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have at least managed to prepare a temporary ceasefire between the hostile parties in Libya," said Borrell. While this is potentially good news, it also shows how small the EU's influence is there. It is therefore all the more important to "make decisive steps in this process at the Libya conference in Berlin".
Maas "cautiously optimistic"
The Federal Government wants to lead next Sunday – under the leadership of United Nations – bring the parties to the conflict from the civil war country as well as international actors involved in it to one table. In addition to Putin and Erdoğan, French President Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also want to attend the meeting. The internationally recognized Libyan Prime Minister Fajes al-Sarradsch had also agreed. According to Foreign Minister Heiko Mass, his opponent, General Chalifa Haftar, has at least promised to participate.
The SPD politician had surprisingly traveled to Benghazi on Thursday to discuss a permanent ceasefire with Haftar. Subsequently, Maas was "cautiously optimistic" about the prospects for success of the Libya conference. Haftar had assured him that he wanted to make a "contribution".
"Long since a place for a proxy war"
One in Libya has been in force since last Sunday Turkey and Russia negotiated ceasefire, but it is always broken. Talks about further peacekeeping efforts in Moscow failed at the beginning of the week after Haftar refused to sign an agreement that Sarradsch had already signed.
There has been chaos in Libya since the overthrow of long-term ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011. In April, militia under Haftar's command launched an offensive on the capital Tripoli, killing more than 2,000 fighters and more than 280 civilians, according to the UN. Around 146,000 people were forced to flee the fighting. According to an assessment by the Federal Foreign Office, Libya has "long since become a place for a proxy war". For example, Turkey supports the unity government of Sarraj in the conflict and, according to its own statements, had last dispatched soldiers. Hundreds of Russian mercenaries are believed to be fighting on Haftar's side, which Moscow denies.