In Libya, EU’s Borrell pushes for peace talks


Josep Borrel, the European Union’s (EU) high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, has been encouraged to hear that his Libyan partners are determined to implement the ceasefire understanding, the EU said on Wednesday.

During his first visit to Libya since assuming the EU position, Borrell met on Tuesday with Fayez Serraj, Libya’s UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj in Tripoli, and with Aguila Saleh, speaker of the eastern-based House of Representatives.

Borrell reiterated the EU’s support to an “inclusive Libyan-led” and “Libyan-owned” political resolution of the Libyan conflict, the EU’s External Action Service said in a media release.

The discussions focused on the required mediation efforts and de-escalation, including the enforcement of the United Nations (UN) arms embargo and the role of the EU operation IRINI in its implementation, it said.

Borrell’s visit to Libya followed the understanding reached by Serraj and Saleh on Aug. 21. The understanding provides for a ceasefire, talks about the return of foreign fighters during the next round of the so-called 5+5 military talks, modalities for lifting the oil blockade and the relaunch of the political process leading to an agreed reform and eventual elections.

According to the EU media release, Borrell was encouraged to hear his Libyan partners’ determination and commitment to work in this direction, and to implement the principles in the framework of the UN-led Berlin process.

The EU described the Berlin process as “the only international framework that offers a realistic opportunity” for the political dialogue needed to bring the Libyan conflict to an end.

The Berlin process on Libya began in 2019 as an effort by Germany and Ghassan Salame, the then special representative of the UN secretary general. In January 2020, a broad-based conference took place in Berlin to promote consensus and to secure an international climate for the intra-Libyan talks.

High-level representatives of Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey, the Republic of the Congo, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States attended the conference, together with representatives of the UN, the African Union, the European Union and the League of Arab States.

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