Call for humanitarian truce in Libya

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The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy and the top EU diplomat made a joint call for a humanitarian truce in Libya, saying all sides must resume peace talks.

“We want to unite our voices with those of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his Acting Special Representative for Libya, Stephanie Turco Williams, in their call for a humanitarian truce in Libya,” the statement said.

“We call on all Libyan actors to be inspired by the spirit of Holy Ramadan and engage in talks for a genuine ceasefire,” said the statement, signed by the EU’s Josep Borrell, France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian, Italy’s Luigi di Maio and Heiko Maas of Germany.

Libya’s conflict escalated this month, with fierce fighting on several fronts in the west despite urgent calls from the UN and aid agencies for a truce to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

World leaders met in Berlin in January to set the basis for what they hoped was a fresh chance for a peace process.

The European Union launched a new naval and air mission in the eastern Mediterranean to stop arms reaching warring Libyan factions but cannot patrol the Egypt-Libya land border, through which artillery is delivered.

The EU is concerned the conflict could worsen regional instability and swell the flow of migrants from the Middle East and Africa almost a decade after Muammar Gaddafi’s fall in 2011.