Friday April 19, 2024

Merkel to push for single EU stance on Libya crisis

May 03, 2019

OUAGADOUGOU: Europe must adopt a common position to resolve the Libyan crisis, which has boosted unrest in the Sahel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday in Burkina Faso, a country hard-hit by violence.

Her visit coincided with a summit of the leaders of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, the "G5 Sahel" group set up to manage a coordinated response to militant attacks. "We must now work on a political solution for Libya... which will be important for the future of your region," Merkel told students at the University of Ouagadougou. "What the presidents of the G5 Sahel explained to me once again yesterday, and they are right to say so, is that Europe must agree on the approach as there are still diverging perspectives within the European Union," said Merkel.

"I will do my best to ensure that the Italian position and the French position are consistent and that there are no different voices or positions in Europe." The two neighbours have differences over how to respond to the Libya crisis. There is also anger in Rome at France´s perceived lack of support for the influx of African migrants arriving from Italy´s former colony. Last month, Libya´s UN-backed Government of National Accord appealed for Europe´s support against military strongman Khalifa Haftar, waging an offensive on Tripoli.

Libya has been in turmoil since NATO-backed forces overthrew former dictator Moamer Qadfafi in 2011. "As Europeans, we will not find a solution for Libya by ourselves, we will need the expertise of the African Union," Merkel told the students in a near-two-hour exchange.