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EU calls for diplomatic solution in Libya

'There is no military solution to the Libyan crisis,' EU top diplomats emphasize following extraordinary meeting

Agnes Szucs   | 07.01.2020
EU calls for diplomatic solution in Libya

BRUSSELS

EU foreign policy chief called for a diplomatic solution in Libya on Tuesday, after a meeting with foreign ministers of France, Italy, Germany and the U.K.

“EU doesn’t use force, we are asking for diplomatic solutions,” Josep Borrell said in news conference in Brussels following the meeting.

The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy also called for the respect of the UN arms embargo.

He said that the military aid Turkey offered to Libya is considered as foreign interference which the EU rejects.

Last week, Turkey’s parliament passed a motion allowing the government to send troops to Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) which has been besieged by forces of Khalifa Haftar.

Meanwhile, the joint statement issued after the discussions underscored that the EU is firmly convinced that “there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis” and “a protracted conflict … spread instability across the region and aggravate the threat of terrorism.”

"An immediate cessation of hostilities is therefore crucial," it said.

The statement also called all the members of the international community to strictly respect and enforce the UN arms embargo.

It said the external interference is fueling the crisis, and said if the warring parties of Libya rely on foreign military assistance, it will be to the detriment of the country's national interests and of regional stability.

"In particular, we stressed the necessity to avoid unilateral actions such as the signing of agreements which further exacerbate the conflict or actions which create a pretext for external interference that are contrary to the interests of the Libyan people, as well as to European interests, as underlined by the European Council conclusions of 12 December 2019," the statement said.

The EU is also convinced that the Berlin peace process and the UN-led negotiations are the only way to bring an end to the conflict in Libya.

Since September, several high-level meetings were held in Berlin to put an end to the Libyan conflict, with the participation of France, Italy, Germany, and the U.K. The negotiations are known as the Berlin peace process.

Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

In April, Haftar's forces launched a military campaign to capture Tripoli from the internationally recognized government.

On Dec. 12, Haftar announced that he ordered his militants to launch a "decisive battle" to capture the city.

On Sunday, Haftar’s forces carried out an attack on a military school in Tripoli. The GNA announced Tuesday withdrawal from Sirte, a strategic coastal town that was recently taken over by Haftar’s forces, calling it a “tactical” move.

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