Statement by Minister of State Katja Keul prior to her visit to Libya:

25.05.2024 - Press release

Minister of State Katja Keul issued the following statement today (25 May 2024) prior to her visit to Tripoli:

Libya is an immediate neighbour of the EU – we are separated by about only 300 kilometres. What happens there also has a direct impact on us.

The civil war is over. The 2020 ceasefire agreement reached as a result of the first Berlin Conference on Libya is holding. Nevertheless, Libya’s political crisis continues and the country remains divided between east and west. People are still waiting to be allowed to exercise their right to political participation, after the elections scheduled for December 2021 did not take place. For the absence of elections also means the absence of legitimate, pan-Libyan institutions, and thus a weakening of state authority. Foreign fighters and forces have still not been withdrawn from Libya. Russia is massively expanding its presence and is using Libya as a hub for its Africa policy.

I am travelling to Libya to find out more about the current state of the political process. It is crucial that the international community continues to stand united behind the United Nations and its efforts to lead Libyan actors towards an agreement on elections. And it is important that Libyan actors remain engaged and participate in the UN process, especially following the resignation of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya. A vacuum must not be allowed to emerge that destabilising forces could subsequently step into.

I am especially concerned by reports of the bad human rights situation in the country for Libyans as well as for refugees and migrants, and also for civil society, which is confronted with shrinking spaces. In my talks, I want to discuss how we can help improve the situation.

Background information:

Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Katja Keul is visiting Libya from 25 to 28 May 2024.

By hosting the Berlin Conferences in 2020 and 2021, Germany helped make it possible to end the civil war in Libya. Just a few weeks ago, the German Bundestag extended the mandate for the IRINI mission: monitoring the arms embargo against Libya is intended to help safeguard the peace process. Germany is working to ensure that the political process, whose aim is to lead Libya towards national parliamentary and presidential elections, is broad-based and inclusive.

In Libya, Minister of State Keul will meet representatives of the Transitional Government, Parliament, civil society and the UN mission UNSMIL. The talks will focus in particular on developments in the field of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Local elections are due to be held in Libya in 2024. Germany is supporting the Election Commission in its preparations, as well as projects which foster broad political participation, including that of women and marginalised groups.


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