BERLIN (AA) - Germany, France and Italy on Friday urged conflict parties in Libya to halt military operations and return to political negotiations.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte issued a joint statement after their meeting in Brussels to discuss latest developments in Libya, on the sidelines of an EU summit.
“The leaders call on all Libyan and international parties to refrain from taking military action, genuinely commit to a comprehensive and lasting cessation of hostilities and re-engage into a credible UN-led negotiation,” the statement said.
The joint statement came after eastern Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar announced that he would launch a new offensive to capture the capital Tripoli.
Merkel, Macron and Conte stressed that a solution to the Libya conflict could only come through a political solution, and underlined their full support for the UN Special Envoy Ghassan Salame’s efforts for a settlement.
They also called for stronger efforts to gather a long-planned international conference for a political solution to the Libyan conflict.
“The leaders also reiterated their determination to work for the success of the Berlin Conference, which needs to take place with no further delay, and welcomed the efforts of their respective Foreign Ministers to this end,” the joint statement said.
Germany is planning to host the conference early next year.
Since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed, Libya has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: One in eastern Libya, to which military commander Khalifa Haftar is affiliated, and the Government of National Accord, which enjoys UN recognition.