Coronavirus – Libya: Speech by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Libya at the UN Security Council (Video conference)

Coronavirus – Libya: Speech by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Libya at the UN Security Council (Video conference)

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BERLIN, Germany, July 9, 2020/ — By Heiko Maas

Mr Secretary-General,
Colleagues,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Six months have passed since the Berlin Conference on Libya. In those six months, COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. While doctors and patients on all continents were fighting to save human lives, hospitals in Libya were being bombed. While the whole world closed its borders and went into lockdown, ships, planes and trucks with weapons and mercenaries kept arriving in Libyan cities.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is time to stop this cynical absurdity! This is why we decided to invite all of you and all of the participants of the Berlin process here today to discuss and agree on the next steps:

First: Foreign interference remains the main driver of the conflict in Libya. It must be brought to an end. That means: no more planes, no more tanks, no more trucks or cargo ships full of weapons. And no more lies! We will use the measures at our disposal, including targeted sanctions, to make sure that Libya is no longer the battleground in a foreign war.

Second: Backdoor deals through which foreign actors carve out spheres of influence must stop. Instead, we must unite behind UNSMIL and the peace efforts led by the United Nations:

– To help the Libyan people find a political solution,
– To achieve lasting peace,
– And to preserve Libya’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Third: The current calm on Libya’s battlefields is more than fragile. Our duty is to translate it into a negotiated ceasefire now – within the framework of the UN-brokered 5+5 talks. We call on the conflict parties to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion without preconditions and without further delay.

A first important step could be a de-militarised solution for Sirte and Jufra.  We call on the parties in Libya and on all of you to unite behind this idea. And we encourage the Secretariat to provide us with options on how this could be implemented on the ground.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Five months ago, this Council endorsed the conclusions of the Berlin Conference in resolution 2510. A week ago, we backed the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire during the pandemic in resolution 2532. Today, the time has come to put our words into action.

Thank you for your Attention.

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