Boris Johnson brands ‘proxy’ war in Libya a ‘disgrace’ at Berlin summit as he says UK could send peacekeepers if a real ceasefire emerges
- Boris Johnson is attending summit in Berlin to discuss the continuing Libya crisis
- PM branded the ‘proxy’ conflict a disgrace as he backed UN process for peace
- Mr Johnson suggested UK could deploy peacekeepers after genuine ceasefire
Arriving for talks in Berlin, the PM said the chaos engulfing the north African state was a ‘disgrace’ and called for a UN-backed process.
He suggested the UK would be willing to join a peace-keeping operation if there was a genuine ceasefire.
But he warned that ‘proxy conflicts’ only come to an end when the external powers decide they should.
Asked if the UK could send peacekeepers to monitor any ceasefire, Mr Johnson told reporters: ‘There is a case for us doing what we do very well, which is sending experts to monitor the ceasefire.’
German Chanellor Angela Merkel (pictured greeting Boris Johnson today) has brought together key players in Libya’s long-running conflict
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Vladimir Putin have been backing different sides in the Libya conflict
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has brought together key players in Libya’s long-running conflict – including French president Emmanuel Macron – in a bid to revive the political process. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also attending.
Fayez Sarraj’s UN-recognised government is backed by Turkey, Qatar and Italy, while eastern-based forces led by General Khalifa Hifter are supported by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and France.
Russian military contractors have been fighting alongside Gen Hifter’s forces, although Moscow retains links to both sides in the conflict.
Earlier, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the international community to stand against the ‘merchants of blood and chaos’.
Speaking at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Mr Erdogan said the world had failed to respond adequately to Gen Hifter’s ‘reckless attacks’.
He added: ‘Hopes that flourish again with the ceasefire and the Berlin summit should not be sacrificed to the ambitions of the merchants of blood and chaos.’
A truce sponsored by Turkey and Russia was imposed a week ago but sporadic fighting has continued.
On Friday, tribal groups loyal to Gen Hifter seized several large oil export terminals along Libya’s eastern coast as well as southern oil fields in another challenge to the Tripoli government,
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (right) is also attending the summit in Berlin today