What role is Germany playing in the conflict in Libya?
With the Berlin Process, the German Government is supporting the UN’s mediation efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Libya. Since the first major Berlin Conference on Libya in January 2020, the situation there has improved significantly. A ceasefire has held since October 2020, there is a Government of National Unity under Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeiba and the oil production blockade has been lifted. In July, the strategically important coastal road connecting the west and east of the country was reopened.
The German Government continued its support for stabilising the country with the Second Berlin Conference on Libya in June 2021. This is important because, although Libya has made progress, it is now important to build on this and not slacken efforts to achieve lasting peace. German Foreign Minister Maas stated the following upon arrival in Tripoli:
If we are to seize this opportunity and consolidate these positive developments, we must move forward. The decisions of the UN Security Council and the roadmap of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum must be implemented to the letter.
What are the challenges in Libya right now?
There were armed clashes in Tripoli, Libya’s capital, at the beginning of September, a reminder that the risk of renewed destabilisation persists in spite of everything. The next step toward lasting peace is to prepare for nationwide elections. It is important that these elections take place on schedule so that Libyans’ voices are heard in a fair free and inclusive electoral process. The withdrawal of foreign mercenaries and fighters also remains a challenge. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas held talks today with the Presidential Council, the Prime Minister and the High National Election Commission to discuss these issues and to support the country in continuing to implement the conclusions of the Second Berlin Conference on Libya.
Reopening of the German Embassy in Tripoli
The German Embassy in Tripoli had been closed since July 2014 and German Embassy staff continued to support Libya from neighbouring Tunisia. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated the following regarding the reopening of the German Embassy in Tripoli:
Today, with the reopening, we want to show that Germany is and remains a committed partner at Libya’s side. We want to have a voice on the ground in the Libyan capital once again.
An increased diplomatic presence on the ground will strengthen contacts between Germany and Libya, and German diplomats will be able to engage with their Libyan counterparts more easily. The reopening of the German Embassy in Tripoli is therefore an important step for Germany’s future engagement in Libya.