Germany and Libya: Bilateral relations

05.04.2024 - Article

Political relations

Since the revolution of 17 February 2011, the German Government has been supporting the country in its transition to democracy. Libya had a fresh start following the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. However, repeated military confrontations between east and west have deepened social divides and polarised the political landscape.

In September 2019, the Federal Government launched an international diplomatic initiative in the form of the Berlin Process designed to support United Nations peace efforts. This ultimately led to the first and second Berlin Conference on Libya in January 2020 and June 2021.

Considerable progress was made.

On 23 October 2020 a ceasefire agreement was concluded which holds to this day.

The first peaceful transfer of power since 2012 took place on 5 February 2021 when the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum elected the interim unity government led by Prime Minister Dbeibah. The Government was subsequently endorsed by the Libyan House of Representatives.

However the presidential election scheduled for 24 December 2021 was not able to take place as planned. In March 2022, the House of Representatives appointed a parallel government with the country remaining divided.

The German Embassy in Tripoli re-opened on 8 September 2021. Consular business is currently conducted from Tunis.

Economic relations

The Libyan economy is dominated by oil and gas production with little diversification. It is susceptible to fluctuations in global market prices and stalemates caused by domestic issues. There is great economic potential. With its population of some seven million, Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa. Libya is thus an interesting partner for the German economy as it also has major potential in the renewables sector. Risks remain also due to the security situation (travel warning), the unclear legal landscape and the highly regulated labour market.

Stabilisation and mediation

Germany backs the mediation efforts of the UN Mission UNSMIL. In addition, projects are supported to strengthen municipal structures, civil society, the health sector and the media, as well as to end impunity in the case of human rights violations. Improving the situation of internally displaced persons, refugees and migrants is a further priority, as is support for their voluntary return.

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