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Thu, 23 Jan 2020 04:43 GMT

Merkel Discusses Libya with Putin Ahead of Berlin Meeting

Politics

7Dnews London

Sat, 11 Jan 2020 18:40 GMT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met President Putin at the Kremlin on Saturday January 11th for talks to discuss the most important issues in the Middle East region in the last few weeks, according to AFP.

One of the main issues that was addressed in the meeting was the escalated Libyan crisis that Germany is attempting to solve through mediation.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who accompanied Merkel, said a "key reason" for the meeting was the escalating crisis in Libya, where Berlin is acting as a mediator in the conflict, he has warned could become a "second Syria".

"We are involving Europe and those players who are influential there, and for that we need Russia," Maas told Germany's NTV television. "For us, it's not too far to fly to Moscow to discuss that with Putin."

Merkel is due to invite Putin to a Berlin conference on Libya later this month, according to AFP, citing diplomatic sources.

Putin supported Merkel’s proposal of a conference to solve the Libyan impasse, calling it a 'timely' idea that was needed to resolve the ongoing conflict.

Merkel said that the United Nations would lead the talks in Berlin and that the Libyan warring parties should work at finding a settlement. The aim was to give Libya the chance to become a sovereign and peaceful country, Merkel said according to Reuters.

The German leader hailed the Russian efforts, although Turkey and Russia support different factions, with regard to Turkey’s role in Libya. Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for a ceasefire in Libya on Wednesday.

Turkey has approved the sending of troops to support the government led by Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli while Russia supports the operation of the Libyan National Army (LNA) forces to restore sovereignty over the seized capital Tripoli.

Middle East Europe Russia