Published: Tue, January 21, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Countries involved in Libya to respect arms embargo: Merkel says

Countries involved in Libya to respect arms embargo: Merkel says

Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of State said during a meeting with Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on January 19 that Washington was also concerned about the presence of foreign fighters in Libya.

The first direct test of any Berlin accord would be whether Haftar's forces abided by the ceasefire, and sent delegates both to a United Nations ceasefire committee and political talks in Geneva aimed at setting up the unified government.

But pro-Haftar forces upped the ante ahead of the talks by blocking oil exports at Libya's key ports, crippling the country's main income source in protest at Turkey's decision to send troops to shore up Mr Sarraj's Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

Haftar's attempt to capture Tripoli, which began in April previous year, marked the beginning of the conflict's latest stage, and has seen thousands killed in heavy fighting, focused mainly in the suburbs of the capital city.

A conference in Berlin that has gathered several world leaders to discuss the Libya conflict will call for sanctions against parties found in violation of a ceasefire, a draft communique obtained by CNN shows.

Libya has been in turmoil since the death of Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 uprising, with various factions and militias taking advantage of the power vacuum to secure territory and control of Africa's largest oil reserves.

A truce brokered earlier this month by Russian Federation and Turkey marked the first break in fighting in months, but there have been repeated violations. But while Turkey's military support will help keep the GNA afloat in Tripoli with an eye to ensuring it remains part of any future Libyan political system, it's unlikely to move the needle enough to halt the opposing Libyan National Army's (LNA) offensive on the city entirely.

Turkey has an offer from Somalia, which says that Ankara can conduct oil exploration the way it has agreed to do with Libya in the eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said. Merkel said "that is a question for the real cease-fire".

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U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the committee would be convened "in Geneva in the coming days".

Asked to provide clarifications concerning the participants in the Conference, Seibert spoke of "foreign actors that influence, support, arm one side or the other", in the Libyan civil war, adding that the countries neighbouring on Libya were often very adversely affected by the "instablity and chaos" in that country, which was why they were invited to participate.

Borrell said Monday there had been "no concrete decision" on monitoring the ceasefire, but added that ministers were discussing how the European Union "can engage more forcefully".

So far, there has been no legally binding ceasefire agreement between rebel commander Khalifa Haftar and Libya's internationally recognised government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

Guterres said at the start of the conference that world leaders "are here for an urgent and pressing reason: to stop Libya's downward spiral".

Just hours before the meeting began, Sarraj raised doubts about Haftar's agenda, saying that "long experience makes us doubt the intentions, seriousness, and commitment of the other side, whom everyone know seeks powers at any price".

Pompeo said that "I think we made progress - at least progress in getting fewer new weapons systems, fewer new forces to flow into the region so that we can get at least a standstill", allowing the chance to work toward a political resolution.

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