REG Libya-1579846722842
Foreign Ministers and officials from countries neighbouring Libya pose for a family photo during a meeting to discuss the conflict in Libya, in Algiers Algeria January 23, 2020. Image Credit: REUTERS

Algiers: Libya’s neighbours on Thursday denounced foreign interference in the conflict-hit North African country, at talks in Algiers to seek a political solution to a crisis they say threatens regional stability.

The meeting organised at Algeria’s initiative brought together foreign ministers from Tunisia, Egypt, Chad and Mali, as well as diplomats from Sudan and Niger.

The participants insisted on the “need to respect Libya as a united country and to respect the sovereignty of its legitimate authorities,” Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum said after the talks.

They also rejected “any foreign interference in Libya” and urged all sides there “to solve their conflict by peaceful means”, Boukadoum added.

“We are confident that the Libyan people will be capable of overcoming their differences through dialogue... and reaching a political solution,” he said, adding that the African Union and the United Nations should be a part of a solution.

A statement at the end of the talks said the foreign ministers “exhorted the Libyan belligerents to engage in a dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations and with the help of the African Union and Libya’s neighbours in order to reach a global settlement away from any foreign interference”.

“Foreign interference only prolongs the crisis and makes it more complex,” they warned.

African countries not invited to Berlin talks

The Algiers talks came days after an international summit hosted by Germany in Berlin during which world leaders committed to end foreign meddling in Libya and to uphold a weapons embargo.

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas briefed the Algiers meeting on the results of Sunday’s Berlin talks, then made a brief stop in Tunis on his way home.

Several African countries had complained at not being invited to the Berlin conference. Boukadoum said the Algiers talks were aimed at “making the voices of Libya’s neighbours heard” by the international community.

Tunisia, which like Algeria shares a long border with Libya, was not invited to Berlin but Maas, in a statement released by the Tunisian presidency, said Tunis would be involved in future efforts to try and end the Libyan conflict.