press release

Foreign Minister Steinmeier welcomes the Skhirat agreement on Libya: mapping out a course for ending the crisis


Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement today (15 September) on the agreement between the Libyan negotiating delegations in Skhirat on the formation of a government of national unity:

At the weekend, the parties to the conflict in Libya mapped out a course in Skhirat for ending the crisis and forming a government of national unity. After months of talks, a compromise seems to have been found, which means that the first key step on the road to resolving the conflict in Libya is within reach.

It is crucial that the political leaders in Tobruk and Tripoli now accept the compromise reached during difficult and tough negotiations and that the agreement is signed as soon as possible. Only in this way can Libya finally return to the path towards transition and ultimately towards stability and peace.

Germany has closely followed this negotiation process from the outset. At the Federal Foreign Office in June 2015, it was possible for the first time to bring the key parties to the conflict to the table for talks with the permanent members of the UN Security Council and other states. Never before had there been direct talks between the parties to the conflict.

Especially now when thousands of refugees are reaching us every day from the conflict-stricken region, agreement on a peace accord for Libya would be a signal of hope. Germany and its international partners are prepared to help a future Libyan government of national unity to build urgently needed state structures.

If after the successful negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme, a diplomatic solution could now be found in Libya, it would be a clear sign that diplomacy is a key, and indeed appropriate, instrument, also in this region – even if many players often have little faith left in it.

Background information:
The two rival Libyan government delegations agreed in Skhirat/Morocco in the night from 12 to 13 September on crucial elements of a peace agreement. This agreement now has to be approved by the parliaments in Tobruk and Tripoli.

The peace talks were chaired by Bernardino León, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya. Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, Libya has been increasingly falling into chaos. The country is divided between an internationally recognised government based in Tobruk and a rival government in the capital Tripoli. The delegations of the Tobruk government and of the independents initialled a peace agreement back in July, however the government in Tripoli did not.

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