Britain’s Johnson says open to Libya monitoring role

The Prime Minister said it is time for “external proxies” to stop interfering in the war.
Sunday 19/01/2020
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) talks with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the way to a family picture during a Peace summit on Libya at the Chancellery in Berlin, on January 19, 2020. (AFP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) talks with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the way to a family picture during a Peace summit on Libya at the Chancellery in Berlin, on January 19, 2020. (AFP)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday that Britain would be ready to send “people and experts” to help monitor a Libya ceasefire should one be brokered by world powers at a summit in Berlin.

Johnson told Britain’s Sky News television on his arrival in the German capital that it was time for “external proxies” to stop interfering in the war.

“Proxy conflicts only come to an end when the external proxies decide that they want to bring it to an end,” said Johnson.

“We want to have a UN-led peace process and stop this jockeying for position. The people of Libya have suffered enough.”

Asked whether UK forces could play a ceasefire monitoring role, Johnson replied: “If there is a ceasefire, yes of course there is a case for us doing what we do very well, which is sending people, experts to monitor the ceasefire.

“I don’t see any ceasefire at the moment,” he added. “That’s what we are arguing for today.”

The Berlin summit’s main goal is to get foreign powers wielding influence, including Turkey, Russia and France, to stop supporting the rival sides with weapons, troops or financing.

Leaders of both warring factions — strongman Khalifa Haftar and the head of Tripoli’s UN-recognised government Fayez al-Sarraj — are also expected at what is the first such gathering since 2018.

(AFP)