The Berlin Conference on Libya: Will hypocrisy undermine results?

[…] Berlin symbolizes a crossroads: Either the external actors will implement what they ostensibly committed to do, including abiding by the international arms embargo on Libya (in place since 2011 and renewed annually), or they will again reveal their hypocrisy in supporting resumed fighting. […]

In Berlin, Merkel and Salamé managed, at least on paper, to cajole the external actors guilty of super-charging Libya’s misery to sign onto a unified agenda. Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, France’s Emmanuel Macron, and Egypt’s Abdel Fatah el-Sisi joined a dozen or so others (with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo representing the United States) in declaring an intention to end foreign interference in Libya’s internal affairs: “We commit to refraining from interference in the armed conflict or in the internal affairs of Libya and urge all international actors to do the same,” states the communiqué, in language one hopes all participants endorsed in (what would be uncharacteristic, for some) good faith. […]

The Berlin Conference, in short, should be recognized as the most serious attempt in years to address the international factors behind Libya’s woes. And the logic of excluding the Libyans, consistent with Salamé’s July Security Council presentation, stemmed from the reality that the external actors are the ones providing the sophisticated weaponry and drones, mercenaries, and troops that allow each Libyan side to believe it might just overwhelm the other side militarily, obviating the need for hard political compromise. Läs artikel