Statement of Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Berlin Process on Libya in the margins of the UN General Assembly

22.09.2021 - Speech

Libya has made impressive progress towards peace and stability since last year:

The Government of National Unity, the ceasefire, the end of the oil blockade and the re-opening of the coastal road are achievements all Libyans can be proud of.

But those achievements are fragile – as yesterday’s worrying events showed us. All actors should keep that in mind – and act responsibly.

None of the progress we have seen would have been possible without the United Nations, dear Ján [Kubiš].

The UN, together with the international community and through the Berlin process, have lent crucial support.

However, for lasting peace to take hold in Libya, we need further headway on all tracks of the political process:

First, simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections have to take place as agreed on 24 December. The Libyan people want to make their voices heard.

We share the assessment by Special Envoy Kubiš that elections are also necessary to prevent any worsening of the security situation.

We therefore call on all Libyan actors to support free, transparent and credible elections in December.

Second, the withdrawal of foreign fighters, forces and mercenaries must begin now.

To that end, effective ceasefire monitoring on the ground is needed.

We look forward to seeing the United Nations Ceasefire Monitoring Mission fully operational as soon as possible.

Moreover, the Libyan Joint Military Committee has to expedite setting up the Libyan Ceasefire Monitoring Mission. We need this mission to take stock of all foreign fighters and forces present in the country – and thus enable a sequenced withdrawal.

To avoid destabilising spillovers, the withdrawal must also be coordinated with Libya’s southern neighbours. That’s why it is so important that they are present here today.

Third, to move forward, we need the leadership of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. That’s why its mandate needs to be renewed – as soon as possible.

President of the Presidential Council Mnefi, Foreign Minister Mangoush,

Germany will continue to back your efforts towards rebuilding and reuniting Libya.

In June, we hosted the second Berlin Conference. And just this month, I re-opened the German Embassy in Tripoli – as a sign of trust and our continued engagement.

Foreign Minister Mangoush, we thank you for cooperating with the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya. We would welcome your support for the extension of its mandate during the current session of the Human Rights Council.

And we look forward to hearing more about your plans for a Libya Stabilization Conference. I am sure it can contribute to the political process supported by the United Nations.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Since last year, Libya has stepped out of the darkness of armed conflict. But peace is more than the absence of war – and many risks remain.

For this to change, the Libyans and we all have to live up to our commitments. By moving from words to action.

Thank you for being part of this effort today.


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