German FM in Tripoli for talks on ending “very dangerous situation” in Libya

FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks during a press briefing at the foreign ministry guest house Villa Borsig in Berlin, Germany, August 13, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrived in the Libyan capital on Monday unannounced for talks with the United Nations-acknowledged Government of National Accord on the “very dangerous situation” in the country.

Maas said “world must not be deceived by the “deceptive calm” in the North African country, calling upon the international community to find a lasting solution to the crisis.

Libya has been dogged by a civil war for years, sparked by the killing of former long-serving president Muammar Gadaffi.

The war has killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands as each faction claims legitimacy.

Forces loyal to Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) under Fayez al-Sarraj and those under eastern commander Khalifa Haftar have been receiving support from various countries in their quest to take control of the country.

Maas wrote on Twitter he would push for the creation of a demilitarized zone around Sirte, a gateway to Libya’s main oil terminals.

“In Libya, both sides and their allies are massively arming the country. On site I will talk about ways out of this very dangerous situation and, among other things, promote the establishment of a demilitarized zone around Sirte. The UN made a good proposal,” said Maas.

(With input from agencies)