German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrived in Libya to reopen the country’s embassy in Tripoli on Thursday.
“Today, with the resumption, we want to show that Germany is and will remain a committed partner in Libya,” Maas said on his arrival in Tripoli. “We want a voice in the Libyan capital again,” he added.
German diplomats left Libya in 2014 due to the country’s instability and burgeoning violence and worked from neighboring Tunisia.
Maas praised the country’s efforts to achieve more stability over the past two years.
“Today there is a national unity government, the oil blockade has ceased and the weapons have mostly come to a standstill,” Maas said, according to a statement from the German Foreign Ministry.
He added that “Libya needs continued international engagement to make progress for all the people of Libya.”
In 2011, a NATO-backed uprising overthrew and long ago killed dictator Moammar Gadhafi, leading to the collapse of order in the North African country. The oil-rich country has long been divided between a UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli and rival authorities based in the east of the country, each with the support of armed groups and foreign governments.
In April 2019, the East-based putschist General Khalifa Haftar and his forces, with the support of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, launched an offensive to try to capture Tripoli. Haftar’s 14-month-long campaign collapsed after Turkey increased its military support for the UN-recognized government.
In October, a ceasefire agreement requiring all foreign fighters and mercenaries to leave Libya within 90 days led to an election agreement to be held this year in December and the transitional government taking office in February.
Germany has previously sought to act as an intermediary between warring parties in Libya.
In June, Germany and the UN hosted a Libyan conference in Berlin on the future of the crisis-stricken country. At the conference, Germany promised to continue the pressure until all foreign forces have been withdrawn from Libya.
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