Opening statement of Foreign Minister Maas on the occasion of the Second Berlin Conference on Libya

23.06.2021 - Speech
Außenminister Heiko Maas spricht bei der Libyen-Konferenz in Berlin
Außenminister Heiko Maas spricht bei der Libyen-Konferenz in Berlin© Florian Gaertner/photothek.de

I thank the Secretary-General for his opening remarks and of course for co-hosting this Second Berlin Conference today. It underlines once more the United Nations’ outstanding commitment to Libya.

Prime Minister Dbeiba,
Foreign Minister Mangoush, dear Najla,
A warm welcome to you and to the members of your delegation here in Berlin!

Today is about Libya.

And even more importantly: today is about talking with Libya – and with you, its representatives. And therefore I am very happy that you a here – again a warm welcome to you.

Excellencies, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Today, we are once again showing our support for the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya.

Since our first conference over a year ago, we have come a long way.

With the support of the United Nations, an interim executive authority has been selected and approved by the Libyan House of Representatives. The presence of the Libyan delegation here today testifies to that breakthrough.

But the situation in Libya has improved in other ways as well: a ceasefire is finally in place.

And the oil shutdown has been lifted.

Nevertheless, the way towards a unified Libya still holds challenges.

And few things are as important for peace and stability as nationwide elections on 24 December.

After decades of dictatorship and years of conflict, Libyans want to make their voices heard. And we should therefore re-commit to ensuring that elections take place – free and fair elections, and on the agreed date.

Given our own history in Germany, we understand the difficulties of unifying state institutions. But we also know that it can be done.

Simply by being there, the remaining foreign armed presence in Libya has a great influence on the peace process.

The Libyan Ceasefire Agreement and Security Council Resolutions clearly state that foreign fighters, forces and mercenaries must leave. Achieving this will require the political will of all of us around the table here today.

So the message that this Second Berlin Conference is sending is that foreign interference in Libya must come to an end and that the arms embargo must be respected. And I am grateful that we have reaffirmed this.

Once again, welcome to Berlin and thank you for your support!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honour and my pleasure to give the floor to Prime Minister Dbeiba.


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