International Conference on Libya, 19 January 2020

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Publication Date 2020
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Overview, reports and information on the International Conference on Libya, held in Berlin (Germany) on 19 January 2020.

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This international conference - which gathered a number of stakeholders with interests in Libya - was aimed at bringing to an end the civil war across the country. At the end of the meeting, it was agreed the establishment of an arms embargo and an end to the support provided by these stakeholders to the opposing sides on the ground. The meeting was hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel and United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres.

Civil unrest in Libya has lasted ever since the fall of the regime led by Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. At the time of this meeting, two governments fought for control of Libya - the Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital city Tripoli, and a government led by General Khalifa Haftar, who commands the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) and is based in the eastern part of the country. Analysts repeatedly highlighted the conflict as a proxy war, with a number of foreign power more or less explicityly joining in to defend ideological and economic interests. The GNA is reportedly supported by the UN, Turkey and several Western actors (including the United States and Italy), while the LNA is backed by Egypt, the UAE, Russia, Saudi Arabia and France.

Media reports and analyses also highlighted how the European Union (EU) has been affected by the internal diverging views on the Libyan conflict and consequently left without much influence on how the civil war unfolded.

On 21 January, the UN Security Council praised the peace commitments agreed by the participants at the Berlin summit.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Euro|topics, January 2020: What to expect of the Libya summit in Berlin?
Politico, 17/01/2020: The Libyan conflict explained
Spiegel Online International, 17/01/2020: Italian Foreign Minister Di Maio on the Proxy War in Libya: 'Europe Stands To Lose the Most'
Spiegel Online International, 17/01/2020: Berlin Peace Summit: Can Diplomacy Stop the War in Libya?
Deutsche Welle, 19/01/2020: Berlin Libya conference: A first step toward peace?
OSW: Analyses, 20/01/2020: The Berlin conference on Libya: a successful investment for German diplomacy
Euro|topics, January 2020: Libya: what comes next after the summit?
EurActiv, 21/01/2020: After Berlin, the EU needs to translate commitments on Libya into actions
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe: 21/01/2020: Is Libya Merkel’s Legacy?
The Independent, 21/01/2020: Russia and Turkey have one goal over Libya – undermining Europe’s influence
Brookings Institution: Blog, 21/01/2020: The Berlin Conference on Libya: Will hypocrisy undermine results?
EUObserver, 22/01/2020: What's Libya's impact on EU foreign policy?

The Guardian, 14/01/2020: Libya peace talks to go ahead in Berlin despite ceasefire setback
France24, 17/01/2020: Libya strongman Haftar in Greece for talks ahead of Berlin peace conference
VOA News, 18/01/2020: Berlin to Host Libya Conference Sunday
BBC News, 19/01/2020: Libya civil war: World leaders committed to peace, UN chief says
The Guardian, 19/01/2020: Libya: Sanctions threatened against countries who break arms embargo
The New York Times, 19/01/2020: International Powers Call for Cease-Fire in Libya’s Long Civil War
Politico, 19/01/2020: Big powers pledge not to fight each other over Libya
Kathimerini, 20/01/2020: Greece appears satisfied over Berlin conference on Libya
EurActiv, 20/01/2020: EU sidelined as Berlin summit thrashes out shaky Libya ceasefire
Hürriyet Daily News, 20/01/2020: Libya players agree to respect arms embargo, push cease-fire
Kathimerini, 21/01/2020: Cavusoglu says Greece 'not a player' in Libya
Deutsche Welle, 22/01/2020: UN welcomes Libya peace commitments from Berlin summit

German Federal Foreign Office: Article, 16/01/2020: Berlin Conference on Libya
United Nations: News, 19/01/2020: ‘This terrible situation cannot be allowed to continue’, UN chief tells world leaders at major Libya summit
German Federal Government: The Berlin Conference on Libya - Conference Conclusions (19 January 2020)
European Council: Statement by the President of the European Council Charles Michel at the Berlin Conference, 19 January 2020
European Commission: Joint Statement by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell Fontelles (19 January 2020)

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