23 – 29 September: Germany plans to host the second ‘Berlin Conference’

Sep 30, 2020 | International actors

On 27 September, a second round of United Nations (UN)-mediated meetings was set to occur in Bouznika, Morocco, but was delayed until 29 September due to alleged disagreements concerning either the meeting’s agenda or the makeup of the House of Representatives (HoR) and High Council of State (HCS) delegations. (The UN has neither denied nor confirmed either of these potential reasons). The agenda for the meeting is to determine the mechanism for electing a new Presidential Council (PC), which will supposedly take place in mid-October in Geneva, and in theory seeks to reach a final agreement on new heads of the country’s semi-sovereign institutions.

On 5 October, Germany plans to host the second ‘Berlin Conference’, which is expected to be held online. The conference is slated to be followed by a meeting in Geneva on 15 October to appoint the new PC members. A diverse selection of Libya’s political and social actors along with international and regional powers are expected to attend.

On top of all this, French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking on 22 September at the UN General Assembly, signalled that Paris was seeking to hold their own ‘talks on Libya’. Macron said that France would organise a meeting in coordination with the UN Secretary General in the coming weeks to bring together ‘all the neighbouring countries.’ He also called for the international community to get ‘much tougher’ in Libya.

On 25 September, an Algerian newspaper reported that several African countries refused to accept the appointment of former Bulgarian politician and UN diplomat Nickolai Evtimov Mladenov as the new UN Special Envoy to Libya/head of UNSMIL. These countries insisted that an African diplomat should be appointed instead.

On 23 September, European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Josef Borrell announced that the EU was lifting sanctions on head of the HoR, Aqeela Saleh, and President of the General National Congress (GNC) Nuri Abu-Sahmain. The sanctions had been imposed in 2016 for obstructing the work of the internationally-recognised GNA.