From left, UN Special Representative Ghassan Salame; UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres; German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas give a press conference after a summit on Libya held in Berlin. Photo: AFP
From left, UN Special Representative Ghassan Salame; UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres; German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas give a press conference after a summit on Libya held in Berlin. Photo: AFP

World leaders disregard Libya-Turkey border agreement: Researcher

Wed, Jan. 22, 2020
CAIRO – 22 January 2020: World leaders have committed to ending all foreign meddling in Libya's civil war at a Berlin summit, and to uphold a weapons embargo as part of a broader plan to end the long-running conflict.

Alarm grew in recent weeks after Turkey ordered in troops to shore up Fayez Sarraj's Tripoli-based government and support its armed militants.

The summit introduced three clear messages regarding the Libyan crisis, according to researcher and Turkish affairs expert Mohamed Hamed, who told Egypt Today in an interview that these messages included disregarding the border agreement with Sarraj’s government.

The messages further demanded that oil wells in the country remain open and for all parties to immediately respect ceasefire.

He also added that the good sign at the Berlin conference is that Arab leaders were present at the table, unlike what happened in Syria, while Turkey found itself in an isolation during the conference.

Hamed said that Erdogan likes to invest in the Libyan government to later get advantages from it through Libya’s infrastructure, gas imports and commercial exchange.

“Everyone already knew who was dispatching mercenaries to Libya, but there was no direct confrontation or accusation to Libya,” he added.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who briefed the UN Security Council behind closed doors on the Berlin Conference on Libya on Tuesday, said there is still a long way to go.

"We have a truce. The truce is having some violations but not widespread violations. They are localized until now. We need to move to a ceasefire, and from the ceasefire, we need to move (to) a real political process and we are not yet there," Guterres told reporters.

He said Tuesday's Security Council meeting is important as it laid pressure on the parties to the conflict and those who have an influence on the situation to make sure that this road map is followed. "The pressure of the international community is essential. The role of the Security Council is essential," said Guterres, who attended the Berlin conference on Sunday.

In a continued aggression, Turkey blocked a request from Cyprus on Tuesday to participate as an observer at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

Cyprus was one of a long line of countries to request the right to serve as observers in the first session of the year of the 65-member Geneva-based body.

The US and EU lamented the Turkish move.

"It is unfortunate that Turkey has decided to block Cyprus from participating in the work of the conference," said the US ambassador to the conference, Robert Wood, urging "Turkey to reconsider its objection."
 
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