The Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, on Wednesday visited Libya and its capital, Tripoli, for the first time since the beginning of his mandate, and met with the country’s Prime Minister and leader of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj.
The two leaders discussed the ways to advance the peace process, with Borrell highlighting that the situation in Libya remains a top priority for the EU. He also stressed the need for the “prompt sustainable implementation” of a ceasefire reached earlier in August between al-Sarraj and the speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR), in a bid to put an end to the Libyan conflict.
“The other party is concerned with many of the points in the agreement, including disarmament in the city of Sirte and Al-Jufra region and lifting the oil blockade,” Sarraj told the Union’s top diplomat, whilst warning that attempts to breach the ceasefire in those areas may torpedo the agreement.
“EU strongly supports Berlin process, mediation efforts and de-escalation measures, including arms embargo – key elements to bring Libyan conflict to an end,” Borrell said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Borrell and al-Sarraj also held talks on other issues of common concern, including migration management, as the oil-rich nation is a key transit point for migrants heading to Europe from Africa.
Discussed ways forward to advance political process, to return to 5+5 military committee talks, and to lift oil blockade.
EU strongly supports Berlin process, mediation efforts and deescalation measures, including arms embargo – key elements to bring Libyan conflict to an end. pic.twitter.com/nCFGH4ksb1
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) September 1, 2020
Libya has been torn by conflict since 2011, when the NATO-backed uprising overthrown the longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi. In the war-torn country, the internationally recognised GNA has been clashing with the forces of Libya’s National Army (LNA) under the command of General Khalifa Haftar.