Morocco Questions its Exclusion from Berlin Conference on Libya

General view of the Libya summit in Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2020. (Reuters)
General view of the Libya summit in Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2020. (Reuters)
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Morocco Questions its Exclusion from Berlin Conference on Libya

General view of the Libya summit in Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2020. (Reuters)
General view of the Libya summit in Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2020. (Reuters)

Morocco has questioned its exclusion from Sunday’s Berlin conference on Libya.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates stressed: “Morocco has always been at the forefront of international efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis.”

“Rabat played a decisive role in the conclusion of the Skhirat agreements, which are, to date, the only political framework – supported by the Security Council and accepted by all Libyan parties – for the resolution of the crisis in this brotherly Maghreb country,” it read.

“The host country of this conference which is far from the [Maghreb] region and the complexities of the Libyan crisis, cannot transform it into an instrument for the promotion of its national interests,” the statement added in reference to Germany.

“Morocco, for its part, will continue its commitment alongside the Libyan brothers and the countries sincerely interested and concerned, in order to contribute to a solution to the Libyan crisis.”

During a press conference, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said: “Morocco understands neither the criteria nor the motivations behind the choice of countries participating in this meeting.”

He also pointed to the Skhirat agreement as "the only political framework supported by the UN Security Council and accepted by all Libyan parties" for the resolution of the crisis.

Meanwhile, King Mohammed VI received Saturday a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron to underline Morocco’s key role in resolving the Libyan crisis and its efforts in brokering the Skhirat agreement.

Furthermore, Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs objected to the exclusion of Libya’s neighbors from the Berlin meeting, stressing Khartoum’s ability to contribute positively to the international efforts to assist Libya in reaching a political solution.

Sunday’s summit agreed that a tentative truce in Tripoli over the past week should be turned into a permanent ceasefire to allow a political process to take place.

A special committee made up of five military officials from the Libyan National Army and Government of National Accord will monitor the truce. Foreign powers active in Libya also committed themselves to uphold an existing UN arms embargo and stop shipping weapons there.



Israel Bombs Gaza after US Criticizes High Civilian Toll

Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
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Israel Bombs Gaza after US Criticizes High Civilian Toll

Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed

Israel renewed its bombardment of the Gaza Strip Tuesday, after the United States renewed its criticism of its ally over the high civilian casualty toll of the war.

Residents told AFP of Israeli warplanes striking central Gaza and artillery fire hitting the territory's south, while medics said they pulled multiple bodies from the rubble of the latest bombardment.

Hours earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told two top Israeli officials that casualties among Palestinian civilians "still remain unacceptably high".

"We continue to see far too many civilians killed in this conflict," spokesman Matthew Miller said after Blinken meth Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi.

Washington has been pushing for a truce between Israel and Hamas.

But Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday that the group was pulling out of indirect talks for a deal in protest at recent Israeli "massacres", including a massive strike on Sunday that the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said killed at least 92 people.

Haniyeh said Hamas stood ready to return to the indirect talks once Israel "demonstrates seriousness in reaching a ceasefire agreement and a prisoner exchange deal".

After the latest deadly strikes, medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent said they recovered four bodies from a house outside the southern city of Khan Yunis and another from Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza.

The Israeli military said that over the previous 24 hours its air force struck "approximately 40 terror targets" in Gaza. They included "sniping posts, observation posts, Hamas military structures, terror infrastructure, and buildings rigged with explosives".

It said its troops were also continuing targeted raids in the far-southern city of Rafah and in the central Gaza Strip.