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German Foreign Minister in Benghazi to meet Haftar before Berlin conference

The German Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Minister Heiko Maas has traveled to Benghazi in eastern Libya to meet with Khalifa Haftar, three days before Berlin conference.

Maas told reporters that the Libyan conflict cannot be resolved by military operations by an party in Libya, adding that Berlin conference will pave the way for a political process and negotiations inside Libya under the auspices of the UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame.

The German Foreign Minister added that his country had been in talks for months with the aim of kicking off the peace process for Libya in order to put an end to the influx of weapons and fighters to Libya from abroad.

“For better chances to reach an agreement at the Berlin conference, Germany has invited all the international stakeholders to be part of the negotiations.” Maas added.

Germany announced that it had sent invitations for the participation in Berlin conference on Libya to China, France, UK, US, UAE, Italy, Russia, Turkey Egypt, Algeria, and Congo. The conference is set to be held on January 19.

Meanwhile, Berlin hopes to get all international players to use their influence to push for progress on Libya peace talks, a German Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, setting out modest ambitions for a Berlin peace conference this weekend.

Spokesman Rainer Breul said the aim was “broader” than the Moscow conference, whose aim had been to secure a ceasefire.

On Thursday morning, Al-Sarraj held a meeting with the political and military officials as well as society personalities in Tripoli and announced he was going to attend the international conference on Libya in Berlin.

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