The UN chief on Sunday urged world powers and regional actors not to interfere in Libya's internal affairs, calling for stronger support for efforts to achieve a lasting cease-fire in the country.
In remarks to the Libya conference in Berlin, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed the need for “immediate and decisive action” to prevent a full-fledged civil war in Libya, and also warned against regional escalation.
He expressed hope that Sunday’s conference will contribute to a sustainable cease-fire and create an international environment that will help Libyans solve the conflict in a “Libyan-led” and “Libyan-owned” inclusive political process.
“The Berlin Communique reiterates principles that are fundamental to the preservation of international peace and security, such as sovereignty and non-interference and respect for international law, including resolutions of the United Nations Security Council,” Guterres said, referring to the draft Berlin declaration set to be adopted by leaders attending the summit.
“It also includes a concrete follow-up mechanism to maintain the momentum and track progress,” he said.
Guterres and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are co-hosting the Libya peace conference on Sunday, with the hope of getting a stronger commitment from the participating states to support the cease-fire and abide by the UN’s arms embargo.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: warlord Khalifa Haftar’s in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli had been under attack by Haftar since last April, claiming the lives of more than 1,000 people.
Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Haftar’s main supporters, have been heavily criticized by Libya’s legitimate government for fueling the conflict.
Ahead of the conference, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a key leader at the meeting, reaffirmed his strong support for Libya’s internationally recognized government.
He also slammed Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia for supporting Haftar’s forces, which, he said, “seek to carry out a coup in the country.”/aa