Union heads - SA, Germany collaborate on Libya solutions

Thursday, February 6, 2020

South Africa and Germany, as heads of continental bodies - the African Union and European Union, respectively - have expressed their intention to collaborate on peace solutions in Libya.

This as South Africa prepares to assume chairship of the African Union under the theme of “Silencing the Guns by 2020”.

South Africa will assume chairship at the gathering of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the 33rd Ordinary Session of the AU assembly - taking place from 8 - 9 February 2020. Germany will also assume Presidency of the European Union in July 2020.

The two regional heads discussed the need for their regions to cooperate on finding lasting peace solutions in the interest of Libya.

These remarks come just weeks after Merkel convened the Berlin Conference on Libya in January. The conference came out in support of peace, which Merkel expressed has to be inclusive to address the multi-layered conflict.

“We have to see to it that all people who can contribute to resolving the conflict in Libya do so, the Libya conflict is not just an African problem,” Chancellor Merkel said.

Merkel said it is apparent that collaboration is essential to resolving the conflict, adding that this cannot be done without African expertise.

“We have seen that without the African wisdom and expert knowledge we know that Libya today is not owned by the Libyans but by outside powers. So working in their interest will be worth our while,” she said.

President Ramaphosa as AU incoming chair agreed with Merkel, adding that while Africa would like to see African solutions to African problems it is cognisant of the complexity of the Libyan conflict.

“As Africa, we would like to see African solutions to African problems but the Libya conflict is a unique one as it involves so many other people. We would like to see our partners come on board to resolve this,” said the President.

Brexit

On Brexit, Chancellor Merkel said it was still early days for the European Union and effects are yet to be felt in strategic bloc.

“Right now we are in a period of transition so right now not much has changed. Britain will have to tell us how they envisage it’s role in the world. We would like to continue to maintain friendship with Britain,” she said. – SAnews.gov.za

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