Germany is lending its support to the Special Representative and worked hard to encourage all European partners to participate in the run-up to the conference. The German delegation was led by Niels Annen, Minister of State at the German Foreign Office. At the end of the conference, Annen said the following:
The Palermo conference demonstrated that issues relating to Libya can only be addressed politically and democratically. This requires greater commitment on the part of all Libyan stakeholders. Germany expressly supports the approach taken by UN Special Representative Salamé.
Why is the conference so important?
Libya is in the European Union’s (EU) immediate neighbourhood and its stability is of paramount importance to all EU member states. This is why Germany is pursuing an approach consisting of coherent, long-term and comprehensive support on the part of the EU and its member states. The international community’s strong participation in the conference together with important stakeholders from Libya represents a solid basis for the ongoing stabilisation process.
What was discussed at the conference?
The UN Special Representative’s Action Plan was at the heart of the discussions. Salamé is looking to hold a national conference at the beginning of 2019 that intends to give Libyan citizens the opportunity to present their demands. The conference’s final communiqué welcomes this as an important opportunity to define the next steps on the path to democratic elections in 2019 and to overcome institutional divisions in the country.
High-ranking representatives from some 20 countries, the African Union, the Arab League and the EU were in attendance, along with representatives of the various Libyan parties to the conflict. In addition to the political process, the conference discussed security and economic issues.
What is Germany doing?
Germany not only supports Libya politically, but is the biggest bilateral donor for the stabilisation process in the country. During the conference, Minister of State Annen announced that the German government would pledge a further 2.5 million Euro.