Pompeo to Attend Berlin Conference on Libya
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will attend the upcoming peace conference on Libya, announced the State Department on Thursday.
Germany on Sunday hosts a summit bringing together foreign powers and the rival Libyan National Army (LNA) and Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) to try to end the conflict over the capital and resume talks on a power-sharing deal.
“Successful outcome would be - the primary issue there is the ceasefire,” a senior State Department official told reporters in a teleconference. “Other things of course would be nice to have ... but the imperative would be the continuation of a ceasefire,” the official said.
The conference will come days after failed efforts by Russia and Turkey to persuade LNA commander Khalifa Haftar on a visit to Moscow this week to agree to a lasting ceasefire and halt the offensive on the Libyan capital. Haftar left Moscow without signing the proposal.
On Thursday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’ office said that Haftar committed to a ceasefire and was willing to attend the Sunday conference, after Maas visited the commander in his base in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara was beginning to send troops into Libya in support of Fayez al-Sarraj’s GNA. The US official voiced concern about the move.
“We are very keen to see that there are no external or foreign interventions. We do not want the conflict to widen beyond what’s it has already become and this is a situation now where the foreign interventions are only exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the country,” the official said.