Maas in Tripoli and Abu Dhabi: promoting peace in Libya and in the region

People boarding an airplane of the Bundeswehr

Foreign Minister Maas travels to Libya, © Janine Schmitz/photothek.net

17.08.2020 - Article

The Foreign Minister’s two-day trip is focused on making progress in the conflict in Libya as well as the situation in the region as a whole, including the rapprochement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, Yemen and Iran.

While the guns in Libya have largely fallen silent for the time being, both sides and their allies are continuing to arm the country and are holding firm to their preconditions for a ceasefire. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is visiting Tripoli today to discuss ways out of this difficult situation with Libyan President Fayez Sarraj, Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala and Interior Minister Fathi Bashaga. In the evening, he will travel on to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – also to discuss the conflict in Libya and other important issues in the region.

Promoting demilitarised zones and distributing oil revenues more fairly

A key to peace is the establishment of a demilitarised zone (DMZ) around Sirte. The Libyan Government supports this proposal by the UN mission UNSMIL, and Heiko Maas will make the case for this once again in Tripoli. Another crucial issue for Libya’s future is fairer distribution of oil revenues. Heiko Maas will discuss this today with Chairman of the National Oil Corporation Mustafa Sanallah.

Improving the situation for refugees and German commitment

The situation of the refugees in Libya will be another topic of discussion. Germany has long been calling for the detention centres to be closed and for alternatives to be put in place in an urban setting. The Foreign Minister visited one of these camps last autumn to gain an insight into the situation on the ground. One key to progress on this issue is effective action to tackle human-trafficking networks. Germany, together with its European and international partners, continues to stand ready to support Libya in caring for refugees. The Federal Government has already pledged humanitarian aid to the tune of 12 million euro for 2020. Germany is also involved in a humanitarian mine clearance project, for example, which Foreign Minister Maas will visit in Tripoli today.

Agreement with Abu Dhabi

The UAE has made an important contribution to peace in the region with its historic step towards a normalisation of relations. Foreign Minister Maas will hold discussions with his counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan about how this positive dynamic can be harnessed for the Middle East peace process.

As regards Libya, the United Arab Emirates is able to bring its influence to bear vis‑à‑vis General Haftar. The Federal Government expects the UAE to use this influence in a constructive manner and in the spirit of the Berlin Process. Heiko Maas is of the view that only those who participate in a political process will be part of Libya’s future.

Another item on the agenda will be the situation in Yemen. The UAE plays a key role both in the political process and in humanitarian aid to Yemen. The Federal Government believes that the priority now is for all sides to cooperate in the mediation efforts of UN Special Representative Griffiths and that the UN’s aid programmes be increased.


Top of page