Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (30 October) after a telephone call with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj:
After the signing of the ceasefire agreement, the intra-Libyan negotiations on the political process have now also got off to a good start. We believe there is the real opportunity here to achieve progress towards peace in Libya. I call on all Libyan actors to seize this opportunity and to support the dialogue without any preconditions.
It is with great respect that I note the announcement by Fayez al-Sarraj, Head of the Presidential Council and Prime Minister, that he intends to clear the way for a new Libyan government – to be established by the Political Dialogue Forum – and that he will step down at the end of October. This decision is an important step, and it deserves recognition.
However, against the background that political talks are getting under way, we would welcome if Mr al-Sarraj could for the time being postpone his resignation and continue to perform his duties for the duration of the Dialogue Forum. I conveyed this message also on behalf of the Federal Chancellor. In our view, this is needed to ensure that during these decisive weeks institutional and executive continuity is maintained at the head of the Libyan Government.
The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, which was launched by UNSMIL, brings together Libyan parliament members and representatives of civil society to discuss the political future of their country, its institutions and elections. The concept behind the Dialogue Forum is based on the decisions adopted at the Berlin Libya Conference that was held on 19 January 2020 and was supported by the UN Security Council in its resolution 2510. The process is expected to last well into November, due to COVID-related organisational delays.