Germany, France and Italy threaten to sanction arms supplies to Libya | News | DW


Libya faces an “increased risk of regional escalation,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a joint statement on Saturday.The three EU leaders have called for an immediate end to the fighting in the North African nation, where a UN-backed government is fighting for power against a rival administration backed by influential warlord Khalifa Haftar.

The two sides have allies beyond Libyan borders. Turkey has deployed troops to help the UN-backed government against Haftar, and France has accused Ankara of violating the arms embargo. Turkey, in turn, believes the UAE is providing arms to Haftar. Egypt is also one of Haftar’s allies, and the warlord also has connections in France and Russia. Italy and Qatar are seen as closer to the UN-backed government.

Ready to “consider” sanctions

Merkel, Macron and Conte called on “all Libyan parties and their foreign supporters” to end the clashes and stop the military strengthening. They also urged unspecified foreign governments to “end their growing interference and fully respect the arms embargo established by the United Nations Security Council.”

“We are ready to consider the possible use of sanctions if embargo violations at sea, on land or in the air continue,” the leaders said in the statement, adding that they looked forward to senior officials. EU officials present the ‘proposals. “For restrictions.

The statement, issued as leaders gather in Brussels for talks on the EU budget and the stimulus fund, marks a change of tone from Paris, Berlin and Rome.

International observers fear that the fighting in Libya will escalate to the level of the Syrian civil war, with various regional players waging proxy wars through their factions on the ground. Last month, German diplomacy veteran Wolfgang Ischinger said the EU should “threaten military intervention” in Libya.

dj / sms (AFP, dpa)


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