Dr Anwar Gargash: UAE supports political solution in Libya

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said warring factions need to be brought to negotiating table

UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash speaks during a press conference in Sudan's capital Khartoum on January 14, 2020. Gargash arrived in Sudan for a two-day visit. / AFP / ASHRAF SHAZLY

The UAE believes a political solution is the only way to achieve a lasting peace in Libya, Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said on Monday.

Dr Gargash said there was a "pressing need" for the international community to bring Libya's warring factions to the negotiating table and try to seek a permanent end to fighting.

He made the comments in Munich at the first follow-up to recent talks in Berlin where a tenuous ceasefire was agreed to. Both sides have accused each other of breaking the truce.

A 55-point plan demands that a widely flouted arms embargo be respected.

Last April, forces loyal to eastern commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on the capital Tripoli in the west of the country, where the Government of National Accord is based and employs militia to defend it.

The fighting has seen the deaths of more than 3,000 people and the displacement of about 150,000.

"The continuation of dialogue and communication among Libyan parties, including the government, the Parliament and the national army, and under the auspices of the UN, is extremely important to overcome existing differences, achieve stability and accomplish an enduring political settlement," Dr Gargash told the state news agency Wam.

Field Marshal Haftar's forces say they are trying to clear Tripoli of militia and extremist groups controlling the capital.

Dr Gargash said it was crucial "to contain the role of extremist and terrorist groups".

He said he was deeply concerned by international interventions into Libya, including the movement of mercenaries into the country.

Turkey has been accused of sending Syrian fighters to western Libya to fight for the GNA.