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EU should consider sending troops to Libya, Borrell says

EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ
European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell gives a press conference at the end of an EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels, Belgium, 09 December 2019.

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The European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell suggested an EU military mission to protect cease-fire in Libya.
“If there is a cease-fire in Libya, then the EU must be prepared to help implement and monitor this cease-fire,  possibly also with soldiers, for example as part of an EU mission”, Borrell said in an interview, and added: “Or take the arms embargo. We Europeans have been entrusted by the United Nations to enforce it. In reality, the arms embargo is ineffective. Nobody controls anything there”.
Earlier this month, Turkey’s parliament passed a bill allowing the government to send troops to Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), which has been in conflict with the warlord Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), whose forces are supported by Russia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Last year, in April, Haftar’s forces launched an offensive against the GNA, whose seat is in Tripoli.
Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have since been mediating for a cease-fire, which Haftar recently rejected. The negotiations, known as the Berlin peace process, were held with the participation of France, Italy, Germany, and the UK.
“In the past six months Turkey and Russia have gained massive influence in Libya, and they are using it. Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have at least succeeded in preparing a temporary cease-fire between the hostile parties in Libya. This is potentially good news for the people of Libya”, Borrell said.
He also warned that the crisis is worsened by the hundreds of thousands of people that have fled from the neighboring Sahel region to Libya. Erdogan recently urged the EU to work with Turkey on a solution for the crisis, something Borrell agrees with:
“Everyone can barricade themselves behind their right of veto. As a result, EU foreign policy is rich in procedures but often poor in results”, he said.

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