Foreign Minister Gabriel met Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra in Berlin on Tuesday (9 May). Their talks focused on the continuing crisis in Libya. Algeria, whose eastern border is shared with Libya, is intensely committed to mediation in the country, which is being torn apart by internal power struggles.
Haven for human traffickers and arms smugglers
In the wake of the fall of the brutal dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya split into areas under the influence of various rival militias and parts of the army. Islamist terrorist militias like the so-called Islamic State trickled into the country. Whole regions of Libya have become a haven for human trafficking rings and arms smugglers. At least a million migrants and refugees are stuck in Libya, some of them being detained under catastrophic conditions by human traffickers.
Germany counting on the United Nations
The international community has been trying for years to stabilise the country. Germany is supporting the United Nations in its endeavours to form a viable Government of National Accord in Libya. In this connection, Gabriel today also met Martin Kobler, the United Nations Special Representative for Libya and a German national. Neighbouring countries like Algeria with contacts to all political camps in Libya have an important role to play in the mediation efforts. Representatives of Libya’s neighbouring countries have arrived in Algiers in recent days to sound out the possibilities for new steps forward with mediation.
Europe is affected too
Gabriel thanked Foreign Minister Lamamra for these mediation efforts and called on all parties involved to continue the dialogue. “The instability in Libya is a danger for its neighbours, too, and also affects Europe. That is why we need to speak with one voice at last,” said Gabriel. As one of the largest Western donors, Germany finances numerous humanitarian assistance, reconstruction and stabilisation projects in Libya. Together with the EU and the UN, Germany is particularly committed to improving the humanitarian situation for migrants in the country.
Whole regions of Libya have become a haven for human trafficking rings and arms smugglers
Gabriel and Lamamra also discussed German-Algerian relations. “We are very keen to give young people in your country prospects for the future,” Gabriel said. For this reason, Germany will step up support for education institutions in Algeria and seek to intensify cultural exchange between the two countries.