18 – 24 November: Germany accuses Turkey of preventing cargo search

Nov 26, 2020 | International actors

On 23 November, Germany accused Turkey of preventing German forces belonging to the EU mission Operation IRINI from fully searching a Turkish cargo ship suspected of transporting weapons to Libya. Turkey claimed that inspection of the ship was in violation of international law. According to the German Defence Ministry, soldiers boarded the Turkish freighter, the Roseline A, overnight, but had to withdraw after Turkey protested to IRINI. A German spokesperson said that a German frigate that was part of IRINI had intercepted the Rosaline A about 200 km north of Benghazi.

On 23 November, the Russian news outlet Sputnik reported that the speaker of the Tubruq-based House of Representatives (HoR), Aqeela Saleh, would be paying an official visit to Moscow ‘in the next few days.’ According to the article, Saleh would be meeting with top Russian officials to discuss political developments in Libya.

On 20 November, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN Security Council (UNSC) that he would name Bulgarian politician, Nikolai Mladenov, as the new UN Special Envoy to Libya, replacing Acting Special Envoy to Libya Stephanie Williams. The African nations that recently blocked Mladenov’s appointment had reportedly agreed to forgo their previous opposition to the new appointment.

On 18 November, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the Libya Stabilization Act, which authorises US support efforts to strengthen diplomatic and humanitarian engagement in Libya and to identify and sanction foreign actors who violate the UN Arms Embargo. The bill requires the US Secretary of State to issue a report within 90 days describing the ‘full involvement’ of any foreign interference in Libya, including ‘which governments are linked to drone and aircraft strikes.’

On 18 November, Government of National Accord (GNA) Minister of Interior (MoI) Fathi Bashaagha traveled to Paris for several days to undertake a series of meetings with French officials. According to a statement released by the MoI, increasing cooperation and joint security operations between the two countries, including combatting organized crime and terrorism were discussed.