The main themes of Wednesday’s second Berlin Conference on Libya were security and stability of the North African nation ravaged by civil war, said German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass.
“We are not talking on Libya, we are talking to Libyans,” Mass told reporters in a joint news conference with Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Al-Mangouch and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary A. DiCarlo.
The unification of Libyan security forces, and the infrastructure and improvement of Libyans’ living conditions are the most urgent issues, Maas said.
Mass added that holding timely elections and the withdrawal of foreign fighters and mercenaries are also vital.
However, mercenaries and forces in Libya for training purposes should not be confused, he added.
“Because we all know that withdrawal of the foreign forces should be carried out gradually,” he said.
Mangouch, for her part, noted that they participated in the conference to ensure timely elections in Libya.
“Elections are the only way to democracy. We value the achievements recently attained in many fields in Libya,” she said.
Answering a question on the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya, the Libyan foreign minister said: “We hope that mercenaries on both sides will leave in the forthcoming days.”
DiCarlo also underlined the importance of holding elections in Libya.
The results of the elections will represent the will of Libyans, she said.
In February, a UN-led Libya forum voted on an interim authority in Libya, choosing Mohammed al-Menfi as the head of a three-member Presidency Council and Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as prime minister.
Libyans hope the new unity government will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.
*Writing by Ahmet Gencturk
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