‘Stay out of Libya’

World leaders were ready yesterday to pledge an end to all foreign involvement in the conflict in Libya after a UN-sponsored peace summit in Berlin.

The UN wants foreign powers who wield influence in the region to stop supplying weapons, troops or finance — either to the UNbacked Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli or the rival Libya National Army (LNA) led by eastern military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

All sides will be asked to sign up to a plan to refrain from interference, and commit to a truce that leads to a lasting end to hostilities. A draft communique from the summit also urges all parties to re-commit to a widely ignored UN arms embargo and raises the prospect of Libyan political talks in Geneva at the end of the month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent military trainers and advisers to help the beleaguered forces of GNA leader Fayez Al Sarraj, and has also redeployed up to 2,000 Turkish-backed mercenary fighters from the conflict in Syria. French President Emmanuel Macron said he had “acute concerns over the arrival of Syrian and foreign fighters in the city of Tripoli,” and added: “That must end.”

Clashes since April have killed more than 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters and displaced tens of thousands, until a fragile ceasefire backed by Russia and Turkey was put in place on Jan. 12. Nevertheless, GNA forces accused Haftar’s militia of opening fire on them in southern Tripoli on Sunday, and Al Sarraj asked for international “protection troops” if Haftar kept up his offensive.