8 – 14 January 2020: Merkel’s office announces Libya conference will be held in Berlin on 19 January

Jan 15, 2020 | International actors

On 8 January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin jointly called for a ceasefire in Libya on 12 January. UN Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, welcomed Turkey and Russia’s calls for a ceasefire and called upon the international community to make the most of the momentum to help reach a consensus through the “Berlin process”. On 11 January, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, accused “regional” nations of opposing the ceasefire, singling out France in particular. On 12 January, the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US, and the European Union issued statement welcoming the ceasefire and urging parties to use this opportunity to move towards a political resolution.
On 8 January, the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Serraj, refused to see Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte after learning that the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar, had also been invited and received by the Italian leader in what has been considered a breach of protocol. Conte also met with Turkish President Erdogan on 13 January and will travel to Egypt this week to meet President Abdul Fatteh al-Sisi also to discuss Libya.
On 9 January, a delegation of senior US officials, including US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland, met in Rome with the GNA’s Minister of Interior, Fathi Bashaagha and, at a separate meeting, with Haftar. The US delegation called upon all the Libyan parties to move towards a lasting political solution. The US reiterated their support for the UN process and expressed concerns over foreign interference in the conflict including the presence of Russian and Syrian mercenaries.
On 11 January, President Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Moscow to discuss Libya and the Berlin peace conference. On 14 January, Merkel’s office announced that she had agreed with the UN to go ahead with holding the conference on 19 January. The following countries and organizations will participate in the conference: USA, Russia, Great Britain, France, China, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Republic of the Congo, Italy, Egypt, Algeria, as well as the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League. Serraj and Haftar are also invited to Berlin.