24 April – 1 May: Salame calls for ceasefire and warns Haftar is no democrat

May 1, 2019 | International actors

Over the last week, international meetings and statements about the Libya crisis have continued apace, but have resulted in little of significance.

On 24 April, UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame met with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Rome. Salame called for Italy and all UN member states to push for a ceasefire and the return to dialogue, stressing that dialogue “is the only possible way to avoid the catastrophe.” He added that the National Conference, although impossible at present, remains essential in the long run. On 29 April, during a visit to Paris, Salame openly criticised Haftar. He is quoted as saying: “He is no Abraham Lincoln, he is no big democrat … Seeing him act, we can be worried about his methods because where he is governing, he doesn’t govern softly, but with an iron fist.”

On 26 April, Conte stated that Italy supported no individual actor in Libya, neither Khalifa Haftar nor the Government of National Accord (GNA) head Fayez al-Serraj, but rather supported the Libyan people. The same day, Conte had a phone call with Serraj, reiterating that there could be no military solution to the crisis.

On 30 April, Turkish President Recep Erdoğan held a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in which they reportedly discussed bilateral ties and recent developments in Libya. According to the Kremlin, Erdoğan and Putin called for a ceasefire in Libya and renewal of a political process under the aegis of the United Nations.

On 30 April, the US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham had a call with Serraj and issued a statement afterwards reinforcing the US’s commitment to a political solution in Libya and rejecting efforts by any party for a military takeover. He stated that, “The administration, in my view, needs to reaffirm past statements rejecting a military solution in Libya and pushing for political reconciliation.” He also said he appreciates the efforts to eradicate ISIS from Libya and warned prolonged conflict could allow ISIS to regain strength in the country.