Today (17 August), Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement upon his arrival in Tripoli:
In Libya at the moment we are observing a deceptive calm. Both sides and their international allies are continuing to massively arm the country and holding firm to their preconditions for a ceasefire. I will discuss ways out of this very dangerous situation with Fayez al-Sarraj, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala and Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha and press not least for the establishment of a demilitarised zone around Sirte. The United Nations has submitted a sound proposal for this zone via UNSMIL. However, ending the oil embargo and ensuring fairer distribution of oil revenues are also crucial for resolving the conflict in Libya. I intend to discuss this with Mustafa Sanalla, Chairman of the National Oil Corporation. I will also talk about the situation of refugees in Libya. For a long time we have been calling for the closure of the detention centres and the establishment of alternatives in urban regions. Effective measures to finally combat human trafficking networks also need to be undertaken. Germany continues to stand ready to support Libya on this path together with its European and international partners.
The conflict in Libya will also be one of the issues I raise in Abu Dhabi, on the second stage of my trip, alongside other topics such as Iran, Syria, Qatar and Lebanon. With its historic step towards normalising relations with Israel last week, the United Arab Emirates has shown that it has the ability to make an important contribution to peace in the region. I intend to congratulate my opposite number Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on this move and discuss with him and others how we can make the most of this momentum to make progress in the Middle East peace process. In view of the developments with regard to Israel, we also hope to see encouraging signs from Abu Dhabi on the issue of Libya. The United Arab Emirates is in a position to influence General Haftar, and we expect it to do so – in the spirit of the Berlin Process. Only those who participate in a political process will be part of Libya’s future.