Diplomacy is about states and treaties. But above all, diplomacy is human: at its heart are people who meet, build trust and work towards common goals.
That is why the re-opening of the German Embassy here in Tripoli is so important, and not only to us. It will boost contacts between our two countries:
Our diplomats will be able to keep in touch with all of you and many other Libyans more easily. Our business communities will link up even more closely. And civil society from both our countries will connect and exchange ideas. The re-opening of this Embassy is proof of the cordial relations between Libya and Germany. It also reflects the impressive progress your country has made since last year:
The Government of National Unity, the ceasefire, the end of the oil blockade and the re-opening of the coastal road – these are achievements that Libyans can be proud of.
Now we must work hard to sustain this momentum and to truly unite the country. That means we need progress on all tracks of the political process sponsored by the United Nations:
Most importantly, the Libyan people want to make their voices heard in free, fair and inclusive elections, which are set for 24 December this year.
And we must find a way to ensure that foreign fighters, forces and mercenaries leave the country without delay. Let me assure you: Together with the United Nations and the international community, Germany will remain a strong backer of Libya and the political process. In June, we hosted the second Berlin Conference, whose conclusions were endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.
And today, the re-opening of this Embassy deepens our efforts to help Libyans build a better future. The Embassy has been closed since 2014. Therefore, we cannot make it fully operational again overnight. Getting back to full capacity will take some time, of course, but you are witnessing the first step here and now! I would like to thank our Libyan partners for their cooperation during the last years. Their help was crucial to our diplomatic work. I also wish to offer my sincere thanks to our local staff here. Without them, today’s embassy re-opening would not have been possible.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Since last year, Libyans have managed to put an end to the violence, come together and open a new, brighter chapter in the history of their country. I hope that this Embassy, in turn, will add a new chapter to German-Libyan relations.
Thank you very much!