Germany hosts Libya conference on Sunday after Moscow talks fall flat

Berlin (dpa) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host a Libya peace conference in Berlin on Sunday, just days after a meeting in Moscow aimed at solving the country’s conflict ended in stalemate.

The Berlin summit was organized in coordination with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is leading consultations to find a peaceful solution to the Libya conflict together with the UN’s special envoy for the country, Ghassan Salame.

The German government says representatives from the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey will take part, as well as top officials from a number of African and Arab countries.

The European Union, the African Union and the Arab League are also to send representatives to Berlin.

Libya’s internationally recognized prime minister, Fayez al-Serraj, and rebel leader Khalifa Haftar have been invited to attend, a German government statement said.

Haftar left a conference in Moscow this week without signing a ceasefire deal with the rival, UN-recognized government.

Turkey, which has dispatched troops to bolster al-Serraj, and Russia, a backer of Haftar, had attempted to broker a lasting truce agreement at the talks in the Russian capital on Monday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has said he will attend the Berlin summit, slammed Haftar after the talks broke down, saying he “ran away from Moscow.”

Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of long-time dictator Moamer Gaddafi.

The oil-rich country has two competing administrations: the UN-backed government of al-Serraj in Tripoli and the other, based in the eastern city of Tobruk, allied with Haftar.

In recent years, Libya has been a major transit route for migrants, mostly Africans, trying to reach Europe by boat, with many thousands being rescued or drowning at sea.

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