Last updated: 22 September, 2014

Foreign ministers urge immediate Libya ceasefire

Foreign ministers from 13 countries plus the EU and UN Monday called for an immediate truce in Libya and backed moves to try to end a bitter power struggle between rival governments.

“There is no military solution to this conflict,” the ministers said in a joint communique after meeting at a New York hotel, adding, “we call on all parties to accept an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire.”

The meeting was convened by US Secretary of State John Kerry “to bring some coherence to the response of the international community to the situation in Libya,” a senior State Department official told reporters.

The ministers all endorsed a mission by UN special envoy Bernardino Leon, who is “going to try to bring together the members of the Libyan parliament,” the official said.

In a two-fronted approach, Algeria has also agreed to host talks in the coming weeks “to try to negotiate a ceasefire,” the US official said, asking not to be named.

It will be a “difficult process” but there was “a recognition by everybody present that the international community should have done more in Libya after Kadhafi fell.”

“So it’s our shared responsibility to try and do everything possible we can to bring about peace there.”

Oil-rich Libya has been rocked by political instability since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

Three years later, Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani’s government and the internationally recognized parliament elected in June are being challenged by rival, Islamist-backed administrations.

The country is also being torn apart by fighting between Islamist and nationalist militias.

The UN mission, UNSMIL, in a statement on Sunday said it would call on the different parties to meet on September 29 for an “initial round” of talks aimed at ending the strife.

It did not say where the meeting would be held, but sources said it would be in Libya.