Germany plans to hold Libya summit on Jan 19 - participants

by Reuters
Monday, 13 January 2020 11:06 GMT

(Adds comment from government spokesman)

BERLIN, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Germany plans to hold a summit aimed at plotting a path to peace in Libya on Jan. 19, two participants in the preparatory negotiations said on Monday,

The summit will coincide with a one-day visit to Berlin by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, about which Erdogan's office, which announced the trip, gave no further details.

Erdogan's presence is seen as essential to the success of any conference on Libya, since Ankara's decision to deploy military advisers and possibly troops there has made it a major player in the country's long-running civil war.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the summit on Saturday, adding that the United Nations would lead talks if a meeting were to take place in Berlin. She said Libya's warring parties would need to play a major role if a solution was to be found.

Merkel said the aim was to give Libya the chance of becoming a sovereign and peaceful country

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said there were plans to hold a Libya conference in Berlin in January but declined to confirm the date.

After talks between their presidents - Erdogan and Vladimir Putin - in Istanbul, Turkey and Russia on Wednesday called jointly for an end to hostilities, normalisation of life in Tripoli and other cities, and U.N.-sponsored peace talks.

Turkey backs Fayez al-Serraj's Tripoli-based, internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), while Russian military contractors have been deployed alongside General Khalifa Haftar's eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA). (Reporting by Andreas Rinke in Berlin Additional reporting by Dominic Evans Writing by Michelle Martin, editing by Thomas Escritt)

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