Published: January 23, 2020
Algeria will receive foreign ministers from six northern countries and sub-Saharan Africa Thursday to discuss the conflict in Libya.
The meeting of ministers from Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Chad, Mali and Niger in Algiers follows a summit in the capital of Germany, Berlin, aimed at propping up a ceasefire.
Algeria, which has a 1,000 km (620 mile) border with Libya, is working to "build consensus to ensure the maximum opportunity for a peace agreement,quot; at a future proposed meeting in Algiers, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters . agency.
Algeria maintains good contacts with all parties in Libya. Several other foreign leaders and foreign ministers from Arab and European states and Turkey have visited Algeria in recent weeks to discuss the crisis.
Already facing its own internal political problems after nearly a year of mass protests that have led to changes in its leadership, Algeria is concerned about new security threats arising from any escalation in Libya.
The conflict represents the first important international test for President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who was elected last month.
Algeria fears attempts by armed groups to enter its territory from Libya to attack its oil and gas facilities.
Libya has been in crisis since the overthrow in 2011 of lifelong leader Muammar Gaddafi and has become a battleground for rival power forces.
The deeply divided country currently has two rival administrations: the National Agreement Government recognized by the United Nations in Tripoli, and another allied with the renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar in the east.
The besieged Prime Minister of the country, Fayez al-Sarraj, enjoys the recognition of the UN and the Turkish military presence, but has struggled to assert his authority beyond Tripoli.
Haftar has the support of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia. His Libyan national army controls vast expanses of territory in the oil-rich country of North Africa.
In April, Haftar forces launched an offensive to seize Tripoli, with clashes that so far killed more than 280 civilians and 2,000 combatants while displacing tens of thousands of people.
On January 12, a fragile ceasefire backed by Turkey and Russia was established.
On Sunday, world leaders agreed at a conference in Berlin to establish a so-called "International Monitoring Committee,quot;, which seeks to implement the goals of the summit, namely to ensure a lasting ceasefire and implement a UN arms embargo that been largely ignored for almost a decade.
Several European figures also suggested the possibility of deploying peacekeeping troops in Libya if a permanent ceasefire was agreed, although this was not part of the discussions.
The committee is scheduled to meet for the first time in Berlin in mid-February. source