Libya conference in Rome calls for ‘immediate, comprehensive ceasefire’

Ahmed Abbas
2 Min Read
Libya, one of the countries richest in oil in the Arab region, has been home to more than a million Egyptian citizens since the 1970s. (AFP Photo)

An international conference held in Rome to discuss solutions to end the civil war in Libya has called on all parties to accept an “immediate, comprehensive ceasefire”.

US Foreign Minister John Kerry said he expected rival governments in Libya to sign a UN-backed agreement Wednesday to form a unity government.

“We cannot allow the status quo in Libya to continue. It is dangerous for the viability of Libya, it is dangerous for Libyans, and now, because of the increase of the presence of ISIS purposefully migrating there, it is dangerous for everyone,” Kerry said.

Kerry added that extremists use the power vacuum in Libya as the conflict has “gone on too long”.

Seventeen countries, including Egypt, participated in the conference called for by the US and Italy. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the meeting was necessary to show that the international community supported the deal reached by the Libyan rival government. “Time is fundamental and we must speed up the solution to the Libyan crisis in the face of threats that also come from terrorism,” he said.

Italy has long pushed for greater international involvement in Libya, as the conflict is taking place just opposite its shores.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warned of the spread in terrorism in Libya and its dangerous regional consequences. He noted that this requires prompt intervention by the international community to support the Libyan people and their representatives in Morocco’s negotiations, which aim to form a national unity government, according to Ahmed Abu Zaid, the ministry’s spokesperson.

Shoukry stressed that the international community is at a turning point concerning Libya, and it is obvious that the two Libyan sides support the deal reached in Morocco to form a unified government before 16 December.

The Egyptian FM believes the Libyan national army plays a key role in the agreement and fighting terrorism.

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Ahmed Abbas is a journalist at DNE’s politics section. He previously worked as Egypt based reporter for, and interned as a broadcast journalist at Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin. Abbas is a fellow of Salzburg Academy of Media and Global Change. He holds a Master’s Degree of Journalism and New Media from Jordan Media Institute. He was awarded by the ICFJ for best public service reporting in 2013, and by the German foreign office for best feature in 2014.
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