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Diplomats make new push for peace in Libya after Berlin summit

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Diplomats meet on Monday for a digital follow-up to this year’s Berlin conference on Libya, with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas set to attend the talks.

Representatives of the 16 states and international organizations that took part in the summit in the German capital in January will meet online at 1330 GMT in a fresh push to get Libya on the path to peace.

At the talks nine months ago, the powers involved had pledged to bring about a lasting ceasefire, implement a UN arms embargo and end foreign interference in the war that erupted in 2011.

Since then, the peace process in the North African country has faltered while the fighting continues. Earlier this year UN Libya envoy Stephanie Williams described the arms embargo as a poorly enforced “joke.”

Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Moamer Gaddafi and has become a battleground for rival proxy forces that has drawn in foreign powers.

The oil-rich country has two main competing administrations: the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli and a government based in the eastern city of Tobruk, allied with military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who leads forces in the country’s east.

Representatives of the rivals held political talks in the Egyptian Red Sea city of Hurghada last month. Other meetings have recently been held in Morocco and Switzerland.

Monday’s talks are co-hosted by Germany and the United Nations. European countries have been trying to mediate a solution as chaos in Libya has provided ideal conditions for people-smugglers to operate in the Mediterranean Sea.

Source: GNA

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