Libya | The German Foreign Minister calls for the establishment of a demilitarized zone in Sirte
Defence Redefined
Published on 17/08/2020 at 20:36

 German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made an unannounced visit to Tripoli on Monday, where he met with his Libyan counterpart, Mohamed Taher Siala. Mass said that the world must not be lulled into inaction by the “deceptive calm” in Libya and should find a way to end the conflict.

Following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya is embroiled in a power struggle between the GNA and the forces of General Khalifa Haftar who controls the eastern part of the country.

“We are currently witnessing a deceptive calm in Libya,” Maas told a news conference with his Libyan counterpart, Mohamed Taher Siala. The GNA, backed by Turkey, managed to repel the attack launched by Haftar in April 2019 against Tripoli and last June it regained control of the entire northwestern part of the country. Haftar’s forces, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia, withdrew to Sirte, 450km east of Tripoli.

According to Maas, “both sides and their international allies are continuing to arm the country on a massive scale and are maintaining conditions for a cease-fire.”

The next battle in Libya is expected to take place in Sirte, located between Tripoli and Benghazi. Both sides have deployed forces around the city.

Also read: Libya | Feverish preparations of the warring parties for the impending battle in central Libya | VIDEO

The German Minister advocated the creation of a “demilitarized zone around Sirte” in order to “talk about ways out of this very dangerous situation.”

He said he had mentioned the possibility in talks with GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Saraj and Interior Minister Fati Basaga. After Tripoli, Maas will visit the Emirates which, as he said, “have some influence on General Haftar.”

Referring to the migrants and the conditions of their detention in Libya, Maas said that “traffickers’ networks must be tackled effectively.”

“We have been asking for the closure of detention centers for a long time,” and the installation of immigrants in urban centers, he explained.

On his part, the GNA Foreign Minister again objected to the European Union’s naval mission Irini that aims to enforce a UN arms embargo on Libya. It deprives the GNA of military aid “to counter the aggression” of Haftar, but it “does not monitor the arrival of arms and mercenaries by air, sea and land via Egypt” in support of Haftar, he said.

Source (in Greek): CNA, APA-MPA, AFP

Also read:

Libya | Eyes on Syrte and Al Joufra – The warring parties, diplomacy and much more on the interactive map (VIDEOS-PHOTOS)




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