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Ischinger: EU should 'threaten military action' in Libya

June 29, 2020

The Munich Security Conference head said the EU must 'speak the language of power' to represent its interests. Ischinger said that Germany's diplomatic appeals were ignored due to a lack of military intervention.


The European Union should threaten to intervene militarily in the Libyan civil war if necessary, Wolfgang Ischinger, the head of the Munich Security Conference, said in an interview on Monday.

"Europe could throw its military weight into the equation in order to achive a cease-fire," Ischinger told newspapers of the Funke media group. "Diplomacy often remains mere rhetoric if you are unable to use the threat of military action as leverage in international conflicts."

As Germany prepares to take on the rotating EU presidenc on July 1, the bloc must speak "the language of power" to better represent its interests. "This requires Germany, too, to learn the language of power," he said. 

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Although the German government held a major international conference on Libya in Berlin in January, "the result, unfortunately, is so far almost zero," he said, referring to a peace summit which saw a UN arms embargo signed by several states and organizations. The truce was, however, found to be immediately violated. 

Read more: Several countries violated Libya arms embargo since Berlin summit: UN

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Germany's diplomatic appeals were largely ignored, because for the acting powers in the conflict, such as Russia, Turkey and Egypt, "whoever is in charge of the military is the one in charge," said Ischinger.

Civil war broke out in Libya after the toppling of long-time ruler Muammer Gaddafi in 2011, who was later killed. Numerous militias are fighting for power and influence in the country, with Tripoli-allied militias backed by Turkey, Qatar and Italy. Meanwhile, eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar's Libyan Nationakl Army is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, France and Russia.

lc/rt (dpa, AP)

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