Looking to build on the momentum started by the Turkish-Russian appeal for a ceasefire, German chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for the much-anticipated peace talks to be held in Berlin.
After meeting with Putin in Moscow over the weekend, Merkel said, “we hope that the joint efforts by Russia and Turkey will lead to success, and we will soon send out invitations for a conference in Berlin,” Merkel’s aim is to offer Libya the chance to “become sovereign and peaceful”. Putin, supporting the process, said the idea was “timely”.
At the press conference, Putin was asked about the presence and role of Russian mercenaries and said “if there are Russian citizens there, then they are not representing the interests of the Russian state and they are not receiving money from the Russian state.” Putin said Russia has many mercenaries operating in many conflict zones, including those who were previously operating in Syria.
GNA prime minister Fayez al-Serraj welcomed the Russian and Turkish efforts with a stipulation- “the condition is the withdrawal of the attacking party, which does not seem willing to do so”. Serraj said this after meeting with Italian PM Conte in Rome over the weekend. In a previous meeting, Conte expressed “consternation” to Haftar after meeting him in Rome earlier this week.