By Janet Ekstract
İSTANBUL (TURKISH JOURNAL) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel is preparing to host a one-day Berlin peace conference on Libya that she cautiously hopes may be the catalyst to reopen talks for a political solution in Libya under the auspices of the United Nations.
Merkel is urging all regional parties to support a ceasefire in Libya and to respect the UN arms embargo on Libya as Merkel explained at a press conference on Thursday: “At the Libya conference, we must achieve above all that the weapons embargo will be implemented (….) it was already agreed within the UN framework, but so far, not adhered to.’Both Russia and Turkey in a joint statement last week called for a ceasefire by midnight January 12. The ceasefire began on January 11 and Russian President Putin hosted Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and renegade commander Khalifa Haftar to sign a ceasefire agreement. Haftar appeared to agree, but left Moscow without signing.
Merkel cautioned not to expect too much from the conference and emphasized that it’s just the beginning stages of the process to reach a political solution.
Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Siebert confirmed on Friday that al-Sarraj and Haftar accepted invitations to Sunday’s Berlin peace process.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s President Putin will be attending along with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In addition, the UK’s Boris Johnson, French President Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will also be attending.
Pompeo plans to push for a ceasefire in order to return to UN-facilitated talks for a political solution. Top officials from Egypt and the UAE, known Haftar supporters, will also be at the conference as well as leaders from more than 11 countries.