German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday called for an unconditional ceasefire in the Libya conflict.
Addressing foreign ambassadors serving in Germany at an annual reception held in the Meseberg castle near Berlin, Merkel expressed grave concern about the continuing escalation in Libya.
“Germany supports UN efforts for an unconditional ceasefire,” she stressed, and urged all conflict parties to return to the political process.
Merkel said last week’s airstrike on a migrant detention center in a suburb of Tripoli, which killed at least 44 people and injured 130 others, showed the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire.
Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) blamed the airstrike on commander Khalifa Haftar's forces, backed by the United Arab Emirates along with Egypt.
Merkel criticized the role of foreign powers in the Libya conflict and urged all countries to implement the UN arms embargo on Libya.
“The arms embargo must be implemented to prevent a further escalation,” she said.
In early April, Haftar, who commands forces loyal to a rival government based in eastern Libya, launched a wide-ranging campaign to take the capital, but his forces have failed to achieve their primary objective, although they have captured several strategic towns and cities in the vicinity.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.
Since then, Libya’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power -- one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli -- and a host of heavily armed militia groups.
By Ayhan Şimşek in Berlin