International actors

Our archive of international activity in Libya’s security space including military operations, the presence of foreign operatives and diplomacy pertaining to Libya’s security.

12 – 18 February: EU foreign ministers agree to establish military mission to enforce UN arms embargo

On 11 February, the UNSC adopted resolution 2509 (2020) extending the authorization of measures against the illicit export of crude oil. On 12 February, the UNSC endorsed resolution 2510 supporting the key points of the final communique of the Berlin Conference. On 17 February, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell announced that they agreed to establish a military mission to enforce the UN arms embargo on Libya.

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5 – 11 February: Algeria meets with Haftar and Representatives of Libya’s Eastern Government

On 5 February, the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Boukadoum, met the head of the LNA, Khalifa Haftar, in Rajma. On 6 February, the GNA’s Minister of Interior, Bashaagha, met with a German government delegation. On 9 – 10 February, the UN-mediated “Economic and Financial Track” Dialogue took place in Cairo. On 10 February, US Ambassador to Libya, Norland, met with Bashaagha discussing the dismantlement of militias.

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29 January – 4 February 2020: War of words between France and Turkey escalates

On 29 January, Salamé briefed the UNSC. On 29 January, the Turkish government confirmed it had four frigates and a refuelling vessel in the central Mediterranean. The same day, Macron accused Turkey of violating the Berlin conference. On 30 January, Algerian Prime Minister Djerad proposed that his country host a Libya “reconciliation forum” on behalf of the AU. On 2 February, Algeria’s President, Tebboune, proposed a meeting for Libya’s multiple “tribes” to be held in a regional country in order to create a solution to the current Libya crisis.

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22 – 28 January 2020: UNSMIL condemns continued blatant violations of the arms embargo in Libya

On 23 January, Algerian Foreign Minister Boukadoum held a meeting with foreign ministers from Mali, Egypt, Chad, Niger, Sudan, and Tunisia, the latter five nations sharing a common border with Libya. On 23 January, Greek Prime Minister, Mitsotakis stated the EU would not agree to a political solution to the Libya crisis while the GNA and Turkey maintain their maritime MoU. On 26 January, Turkish President Erdogan, met with Algerian Prime Minister, Tebboune, in Algeria. On 27 January, German Foreign Minister Maas met EU High Representative Borrell to discuss the situation in Libya. On 27 January, UNSMIL issued a statement saying it deeply regrets the “continued blatant violations of the arms embargo in Libya”.

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15 – 21 January 2020: Germany holds an international conference on Libya in Berlin

On 19 January, Germany held an international conference on Libya in Berlin including multiple state leaders and high-level delegates. The conference concluded with unanimous agreement on a final 55-point communiqué. The communiqué called for the UNSC to create an international committee to monitor the ceasefire and to impose sanctions on violations of the ceasefire.

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

On 8 January, Turkey and Russia jointly called for a ceasefire in Libya from 12 January. UN Envoy to Libya, Salame, welcomed the ceasefire and called upon the international community to make the most of the momentum to help reach a consensus through the “Berlin process”. On 8 January, Serraj refused to see Italian Prime Minister Conte after learning that Haftar had also been invited and received by the Italian leader. On 9 January, a delegation of senior US officials, met in Rome with Bashaagha and Haftar. On 11 January, Russian President Putin and German Chancellor Merkel met in Moscow to discuss Libya. On 14 January, Merkel’s office announced that she had agreed with the UN to go ahead with holding the Berlin conference on 19 January.

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1 – 7 January 2020: Turkey’s parliament approves bill that enables sending troops to Libya

On 1 January, the Arab League convened an exceptional meeting in Cairo but failed to reach a consensus on how to de-escalate the conflict in Libya. On 2 January, Turkey’s parliament approved a bill to enable troops to be deployed to Libya to support the GNA. On 2 January, Egyptian President al-Sisi condemned in the “strongest terms” the Turkish parliament’s authorization. On 6 January, the GNA announced that a planned visit to Tripoli on 7 January by the newly appointed diplomat-in-chief of the EU Joseph Borrell and the foreign ministers of the UK, France, Germany and Italy had been postponed. On 6 January, Serraj arrived in Algeria to meet with the newly-elected Algerian President Tebboune.

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18 – 31 December 2019: UNHCR renewed its call for protecting civilians in Libya as international involvement increases

On 17 December, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Libya and met with Serraj and Haftar. On 21 December, a senior US State Department official said that the US is “very concerned” about the intensification of the conflict in Libya. On 23 December, the EU issued a statement reiterating its calls on all Libyan parties to cease all military actions and resume the political dialogue. On 24 December, a high-profile meeting gathered together representatives from the Russian and Turkish foreign ministries. On 25 December, Turkish President Erdogan paid a surprise visit to Tunisia and met with Tunisian President Saied. On 28 December, Italian Prime Minister Conte warned that Russia and Turkey, and not Europe, are setting the agenda in Libya’s conflict. On 29 December, Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis said that Greece wants to be included in the UN-sponsored Berlin conference on the Libya conflict. On 29 December UN Envoy to Libya, Salamé, called for greater civilian protection following several incidents in western Libya.

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12 – 17 December 2019: Head of the GNA Serraj meets with high-level representatives in Doha

On 12 December, the European Council condemned the maritime deal between the GNA and Turkey. On 14 December, the Security and Military MoU was introduced to the Turkish parliament. On 15 December, the head of the GNA, Fayez al-Serraj, met with high-level representatives of Qatar as well as US Republican senator Lindsay Graham. On 16 December, Turkey claimed that Russian President Putin suggested working jointly in Libya.

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4 December – 10 December 2019: US believe Russian air defence system responsible for shot down drone

On 7 December, US Army General, Stephen Townsend stated that he believed Russian air defence systems were responsible for shooting down an American unarmed drone over Tripoli in November. On 5 December, the text of the maritime agreement between the GNA and Turkey was published. On 6 December, the Greek Foreign Ministry stated it had given the GNA’s Ambassador to Greece 72 hours to leave the country.

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27 November – 3 December 2019: GNA signs agreement with Turkey that sparks outrage

On 27 November, the GNA signed an agreement on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea with Turkey, along with an MoU to expand security and military cooperation. On 2 December, Speaker of the Tubruq-based HoR demanded to have the MoU retracted. On 2 December, the UNSC issued a statement expressing their “deep concern at the recent escalation of violence in Libya”.

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20 – 26 November 2019: US Senate members introduce the ‘Libya Stabilization Act’

On 21 November, members of the US Senate introduced a piece of legislation called ‘the Libya Stabilization Act’. Former Libyan ambassador to the UAE, Aref al-Nayed, met with US NSC officials twice ‘this fall’. On 21 November, an AFRICOM unarmed remotely piloted aircraft was lost over Tripoli. On 20 November, an Italian Air Force MQ-9A Predator B crashed near the city of Tarhouna.

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23 – 29 October: German foreign minister and UN Envoy discussed the Berlin conference in Tripoli

On 26 October, US Embassy officials travelled to Benina to meet with notable eastern figures and discuss efforts to end the fighting around Tripoli and seek justice for US victims of the 11 September 2012 attack in Benghazi. On 27 October, the German foreign minister and UN Envoy discussed the Berlin conference in Tripoli. Russia hosted its first Africa summit which was attended by Serraj and eastern government representatives.

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16 October – 22 October: NOC hold meeting with key US officials in Washington

On 16 October, NOC chairman Mustafa Sanallah met with key US officials in Washington to discuss the potential increase of oil outputs, investment opportunities and transparency in the Libyan oil sector. On 16 October, the chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs panel on the Middle East introduced a proposal “to clarify and strengthen American policy in support of a peaceful diplomatic resolution to the Libyan conflict.”

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18 – 24 September: US Ambassador meets with Haftar as international momentum on Libya grows

On 18 September, Conte and Macron met in Rome to discuss cooperation on Libya. On 19 September, US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland met with the head of the LNA, Khalifa Haftar, in Dubai. On 23 September, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France will chair a meeting on Libya on 26 September on the side lines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

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28 August – 3 September: New AFRICOM Commander meets Serraj

On 26 August, the head of the GNA, Fayez al-Serraj, met with the new Commander of AFRICOM, General Stephen Townsend, and US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland. On 30 August, Norland met with the head of the High Council of State (HCS), Khalid al-Mishri. On 29 August, the UN published a report outlining the UNSG overview of the Libyan crisis as presented to the UN Security Council.

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10 July – 16 July: US made missiles discovered amongst LNA forces found to belong to France

On 16 July, the Governments of Egypt, France, Italy, UAE, UK, and the US issued a statement calling for an immediate de-escalation and halt to the current fighting. On 11 July, the UN Deputy Envoy to Libya, met with the senior leadership of the eastern-based CBL. On 8 July, the Javelin anti-tank missiles discovered amidst LNA forces in Ghariyan were confirmed to belong to France.

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3 July – 9 July: Serraj visits Erdogan to secure military and financial support

On 7 July, the UN’s Deputy Envoy to Libya, Stephanie Williams, met with members of the eastern-based HoR as part of a 3-day tour of eastern Libya. On 5 July, GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj visited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. On 5 July, UNSC issued a statement condemning the attack on 2 July on a migrant detention centre in Tajoura. On 3 July, details emerged of the GNA Attorney General arresting two Russian men accused of attempting to influence future Libyan elections.

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26 June – 2 July: Turkey threatens LNA as “legitimate target” following the arrest of six Turkish nationals

On 28 June, the LNA banned all commercial flights from Libya to Turkey. On 29 June, the Turkish Foreign Ministry demanded the release of six Turkish citizens by the LNA “otherwise the elements of Haftar will become a legitimate target.” On 29 June, the US State and Defence Departments opened an investigation to look into how American-made weapons had found their way to Libya.

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22 May – 28 May: Haftar meets with Macron

On 22 May, the head of the LNA Khalifa Haftar met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. On 23 May, the head of the GNA, Fayez al-Serraj, met with Algerian interim President, Abdelkader Bensalah, in Algiers. On 22 May, Serraj held a meeting with Tunisian President, Beji Caid Essebsi, to discuss the current crisis in Libya.

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8 May – 14 May: European Union calls for an immediate ceasefire

On 10 May, the Prime Minister of the GNA, Fayez al-Serraj, concluded a visit to the heads of state in Germany, France, Italy and the UK. On 10 May, the UNSC held an emergency session focusing on the instability in Libya and the need for humanitarian action. On 13 May, the European Union Council released a statement calling for an immediate ceasefire. On 13 May, the UN Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, met with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

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

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.”

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10 April – 16 April: UN postpones National Conference

On 10 April, UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé stated he was postponing the National Conference due to take place on 14-16 April. On 13 April, Salamé release a statement indicating the UN had not given up the prospect of a political solution to end the clashes. On 15 April, Salame told the BCC that “I’m just as worried by the crack in the UN Security Council as the fighting on the ground.”

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20 March – 26 March: US State Department warned of an imminent attack in Tripoli

On 22 March, the US State Department warned of an imminent attack on a vital national institution in Tripoli on 23 March. On 25 March, the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) reviewed its flight ban over Libyan airspace and is set to allow US carriers to fly over the country above 30,000 feet. On 20 March, UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame announced the details of the long-delayed National Conference.

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13 March – 19 March: UN announces National Conference will take place in Ghadames on 14-16 April

On 20 March, the UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, announced that the UN National Conference will take place in Ghadames on 14-16 April. On 13 March, several ambassadors met with GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and members of the HCS. On 18 March, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Tripoli. On 19 March, US ambassador to Libya Peter Bodde and US AFRICOM commander Thomas Waldhauser flew into Tripoli to meet with Serraj. On 16 March, Deputy UN Envoy Stephanie Williams made a visit to the electoral district of Aziziyya, south-west of Tripoli.

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30 January – 5 February: French fighter jets launch airstrike on Libyan convoy

On 3 February, French fighter jets had launched airstrikes on armed groups that entered northern Chad from Libya. On 2 February, UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame announced the start of a tour of meetings with key Libyan political figures. On 2 February, European Union representative, Federica Mogherini, stated that there was consensus on Operation Sophia. On 30 January, the GNA’s Minister of Interior met with US Charge d’Affaires to Libya.

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23 January – 29 January: France plan to reopen embassy in Libya this year

On 26 January, France announced it is planning to reopen its embassy in Libya this year. On 25 January, Russia’s Foreign Minister suggested that election deadlines for Libya were not constructive. On 24 January, Libya, Niger, Chad and Sudan agreed to have a ministerial meeting on border control. On 22 January, the GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj met with the US Ambassador to Libya.

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16 January – 22 January: Italian Deputy Prime Minister says France has no interest in stabilising Libya

On 22 January, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said that France has no interest in stabilising the situation in Libya, ‘probably because it has oil interests that are opposed to those of Italy.’ On 18 January, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that Germany’s policy approach to Libya follows a similar style as the Italian government.

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23 May – 29 May: Serraj, Haftar, Saleh, and Mishri attend Libya summit in Paris

On 29 May, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a Libya summit where Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, President of the House of Representatives (HoR) Agilah Saleh, President of the High Council of State (HCS) Khaled Mishri, and General Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar agreed to hold ‘credible, peaceful’ parliamentary and presidential elections on 10 December 2018, and to respect the results of the election.

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9 May – 15 May: Egypt foils “infiltration” attempt while UK issues formal apology for an extradition to Libya

On 10 May, the Egyptian army announced it had foiled an “infiltration attempt” across its western border with Libya after reportedly destroying 4 vehicles. This week the UK issued a formal apology for extraditing Abdul Hakim Belhadj, a former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and a key Feb17 military commander, to Qadhafi before the 2011 revolution.

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25 Apr – 1 May: Foreign support for Libyan elections while US and Libya sign MoI and LoA

On 30 April, the Libya Quartet said it supports Libya holding presidential and parliamentary elections this year. On 29 April, Egypt and France agreed that elections should be held in Libya before the end of 2018. On 27 April, the US and Libya’s GNA signed a Memorandum of Intent for airport security and a Letter of Agreement to support Libyan policing, prisons and justice sector development.

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4 Apr – 10 Apr: UN release a report on armed groups control of prisons while UNSMIL launch first round of ‘consultative meetings’

On 10 April, the UN released a report exploring armed groups control of prisons in Libya, the subsequent torturing of detainees and how successive government in Tripoli have been inability to curtail these activities. On 5 April, UNSMIL launched its first round of ‘consultative meetings’ in Benghazi and Zuwara, as part of the UN-initiated Libya National Forum followed by meetings in Ghariyan and Brak al-Shatti on 7 April and in Abu Salim on 10 April.

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21 – 27 Mar: US drone strikes target AQIM while UN Envoy concedes LPA amendments are unlikely

On 24 March, the US military undertook drone strikes targeting a house near Ubari, allegedly killing two militants that belonged to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. On 22 March, the UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame briefed to the UNSC and conceded that an amendment to the Libyan Political Agreement leading to a final unified government before elections was unlikely.

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7 – 13 Mar: Total number of US air strikes on ISIS in Libya increases while Egypt foils an infiltration at its western border with Libya

On 8 March, a spokesman for the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM), Major Karl J. Wiest, stated that an additional four airstrikes had been carried out against IS fighters in Libya over the last 14 months. On 11 March, the Egyptian army announced it had foiled another attempt to “infiltrate” its western border with Libya after reportedly destroying 5 vehicles loaded with arms and ammunition on the Libyan border.

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