The Address | Benghazi – Libya
ROME – Italy’s Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, has called today for the establishment of a European Union mission to monitor the UN-imposed arms embargo on Libya.
“It is clear that to resolve the Libyan conflict, the entry of weapons by land, air and sea must be blocked,” said Di Maio during his speech at the Ministerial Meeting of the International Follow-Up Committee on Libya, in Monaco.
“We must keep the point on the arms embargo in Libya, a fundamental step to stop the armed conflict.”
Since April last year, the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has been battling militias allied with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). These militias have been the main source of chaos and instability in the capital since the overthrow of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The conflict saw a grave escalation last December when GNA’s Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj signed a military deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan which paved the way for Ankara to send some of its troops as well as Syrian mercenaries to Tripoli.
“Tomorrow in Brussels, in a very important Foreign Affairs Council, we will also discuss this,” revealed the Italian top diplomat.
“We need a European Union mission that is able to block the entry of weapons, constantly monitoring the Libyan situation.”
“Europe must act compactly, using one voice. Italy is ready to do its part,” he added.
Germany organized a peace conference on Libya in Berlin on January 19 in a bid to kick-start the stalled peace process in Libya after an escalation of fighting. It was attended by global powers and regional stakeholders who called for a ceasefire and pledged to uphold the UN arms embargo.
Turkey was accused by the international community of violating the commitments of the Berlin conference.