30 September – 6 October: Germany and UN host “Second Berlin Conference”

Oct 7, 2020 | International actors

On 5 October, the United Nations (UN) and Germany began co-hosting a virtual ministerial-level meeting of the 16 countries and international organisations that took part in the Berlin Conference on Libya of January 2020. The meeting also included representatives from Libya’s neighbouring countries. The German Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Gunter Sautter, stated on 2 October that the event was intended to be a follow-on to the first Berlin Conference in January and that participants would renew their commitments to the roadmap that conference produced, including calling on all parties to accelerate their efforts to achieve a ceasefire and ending their violations of the arms embargo.

On 2 October, a draft 10-page plan prepared by the European Union (EU)’s foreign policy office was unveiled. It laid out options for strengthening a potential ceasefire in Libya. The options included a Military and Observation Mission that would include land and air elements and possibly even have the power to conduct its own operations in Libya. The document said this mission could include two EU brigades comprising between 5,000 and 10,000 personnel, but that the option for a military mission that could conduct its own operations has been ‘excluded at this stage,’ noting that ‘the political and physical risks’ of such in operation would be ‘far-reaching.’

Also on 2 October, the Turkish Defence Ministry said that the UN had ‘registered’  the deal for demarcation of maritime boundaries reached between Turkey and the GNA late last year. On 5 October, the PC announced that it had reached an agreement with the Turkish government to expand cooperation in the economic and development fields.

On 30 September, United States Defence Secretary Mark Esper travelled to Tunis, where he met with Tunisian President Kais Saed and Tunisian Defence Minister Brahim Bartagi to discuss American support for the training of Tunisian security forces and securing Tunisia’s southern border with Libya. On 1 October, Esper met with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, where the two men also discussed the conflict in Libya. Esper concluded his North Africa tour on 2 October in Morocco, just as the second round of dialogues between the HCS and HoR was beginning there.