Berlin to host Libya peace conference on Jan. 19

An international conference on war-torn Libya is set to take place in Berlin on January 19, Russian news agency TASS reported on Monday.

Germany is seeking to bring together the main players in the North African country in an attempt to reach a political solution to the conflict.

Libya has been split between the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli and the rival House of Representatives which has been operating from the eastern city of Tobruk since 2014 and is backed by the Libyan National Army (LNA).

The conference follows a ceasefire called Turkey and Russia, who back opposite sides in the conflict, which took effect in Libya at midnight on January 12.

The Turkish-backed GNA’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj welcomed the ceasefire, but LNA commander Khalifa Haftar on Tuesday left a round of talks in Moscow without signing the ceasefire.

The LNA’s Haftar is backed by Russia, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and France while Turkey supports the internationally recognised GNA. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel invited the Algerian leader to the Jan. 19 conference during a phone call on Monday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday.

Algeria has rejected an offensive launched in April by LNA commander Khalifa Haftar, to capture Tripoli from the UN-recognised government.

Greece has also asked to attend a summit in Berlin, Kathimerini reported on Tuesday citing government spokesman Stelios Petsas.

More than 1,000 people have been killed and more than 5,000 others injured since the LNA launched its offensive to seize Tripoli last April.