Accord on Libya, yes to ceasefire and stop to weapons

But in Berlin Sarraj-Haftar avoid each other. Now work for peace

20 January, 12:36

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JANUARY 20 - The Berlin Conference on Libya didn't resolve all the problems in Libya, but it did mark a success for German and international diplomacy and a first step forward in the walk towards peace for the troubled North African country.

    In the German capital, leaders of European and Arab countries - as well as the EU, USA, the African Union and the UN - approved a document that seems to pave the way to a lasting ceasefire, an arms embargo on weapons into the country, and the end to foreign meddling that turned Libya into the site of a proxy war.

    However, mutual distrust between the two factions of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli and General Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi continues to weigh on the country for the future.

    In addition, it appears as a contradiction the fact that among the signers are the same countries that created the meddling that they now say they want to stop.

    The document of about six pages and 55 points agreed upon by the chancelleries and then signed by the leaders - but not by Sarraj and Haftar - remained practically unchanged in substance compared to the drafts that circulated ahead of the conference.

    The text spells out an immediate ceasefire and leads to regular elections and the installation of a new Libyan unitary government, while along the way disarming the militias, enacting the arms embargo, and placing sanctions on those who continue to ignore it.

    The idea of an international peacekeeping force in Libya also gained traction during the conference in Berlin.

    The force would be under the auspices of the UN and would involve the EU in particular.

    At the moment, the rivalry between Sarraj and Haftar remains one of the main obstacles to enacting the steps decided upon in Berlin.

    It was impossible to get the two Libyan leaders in the same room for face-to-face talks, just as in Moscow in the failed attempt in recent days to get them to sign a ceasefire, and previously in Italy.

    Haftar and Sarraj followed the conference from two different places, had separate talks with everyone, and didn't participate in the roundtable discussions together with the others.

    In the end, however, they gave their approval to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the naming of the members of the 5+5 military committee that, according to the UN action plan, will be charged with monitoring the ceasefire and establishing the line of battle.(ANSAmed).

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