Merkel, Abu Dhabi crown prince discuss Libya ahead of summit
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the need to end foreign interference in Libya with Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince Saturday, a day before she hosts an international conference on Libya, Merkel’s office said.
The meeting at Merkel’s invitation took place because Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is unable to attend the conference on Sunday, a German government statement said. He asked the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister to attend in his place.
The UAE is one of 12 countries with an interest in Libya’s long-running civil war that Merkel has invited to Berlin on Sunday. Germany’s aim is to curb foreign military meddling, solidify a cease-fire and help relaunch a political process to determine the north African country’s future.
Libya is divided into rival administrations, each with outside supporters: the U.N.-recognized one based in Tripoli and one based in the country’s east, supported by Gen. Khalifa Hifter’s forces.
Hifter’s forces have been on the offensive since April. In its campaign against Hifter’s forces, which are backed by Egypt, Russia and the UAE, the Tripoli government has turned to Turkey for troops and weapons.
Merkel and the crown prince agreed that there is no military solution to Libya’s long-running civil war, the German government said.
They called on the two sides in Libya to agree a permanent cease-fire, for Libya’s state institutions to be rebuilt fully and for terrorism and extremism to be fought, the statement said.
“Ending outside interference in Libya’s internal affairs is a necessary precondition from this from the point of view of both” leaders, it added.