EU preparing Libya peace mission under UN

Erdogan calls for UN coordination and not EU

20 January, 17:23

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JANUARY 20 - EU High Representative Josep Borrell is expected to present a proposal for an EU mission to safeguard a ceasefire in Libya.

    The mission would be under the UN and would be presented during the EU's External Affairs Council meeting in February. He is also expected to present a proposal to relaunch the mandate for Operation Sophia for the monitoring of an arms embargo, according to European diplomatic sources. However, the sources said that a true ceasefire is not in place and that it is only a truce since the parties in conflict - Tripoli's Fayez al-Serraj and the 'strongman of Cyrenaica' Khalifa Haftar - have not yet signed the Berlin Conference statement. On Libya there is also a clear position taken by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, in commenting on the outcome of the Berlin Conference, noting that ''since the UN is involved, it is not right that the EU intervene as coordinator of the process'' for peace in Libya. ''If the ceasefire that we asked for with Putin is complied with, a political process will begin'' in Libya, Erdogan added.

    ''Turkey's presence in Libya has raised hopes for peace. The steps that we took have led to balance in the process. We will continue to support a political process both on the ground and at the negotiating table. Turkey is the key for peace.'' German foreign minister Heiko Maas said that the EU is working on integrating the agreement on a ceasefire in one with a weapons embargo, and for this reason in early February another conference on the situation in Libya will be held at the level of foreign ministers. Maas added that the aim of the conference had been achieved but that it is only the starting point. Now, he added, a complete armistice and a political process paving the wave for lasting peace is needed. Italy's foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, has said that if Operation Sophia were to be revived, ''it must be taken apart and reassembled in a different manner'' and that it ''must be a mission to prevent weapons from getting in'' to Libya, as well as ''to comply with the ceasefire in order to start a political process. And nothing else.'' (ANSAmed).

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