US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Germany on this weekend to attend Libya conference and push for sustaining a fragile ceasefire and getting all foreign powers to withdraw from the conflict in the North African country, according to State Department and US officials on Thursday.
On Sunday, Germany will host a summit bringing together foreign powers and the Libyan rival camps backed by them to try to end the war over Tripoli and resume talks on a power-sharing deal.
The conference will come days after failed efforts by Russia and Turkey to persuade Khalifa Haftar, whose forces control much of Libya’s east and south, on a visit to Moscow this week to agree to a lasting ceasefire and halt the offensive on the Libyan capital. Haftar left Moscow without signing the proposal.
During a teleconference, a senior State Department officials said, “Successful outcome would be – the primary issue here is the ceasefire”.
“Other things of course would be nice to have … but the imperative would be the continuation of a ceasefire”, the official added.
On Thursday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’ office said that Haftar committed to a ceasefire and was willing to attend the Sunday conference after Maas visited the commander in his base in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
Last month, Pompeo spoke to Heiko Maas in a telephonic conversation regarding the construction of Nord Stream 2 and other issues of mutual concern.
Pompeo paid his three-day visit to Germany.
He met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and other senior German officials.
In May this year, Pompeo had paid his visit to the country, where he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The visit came amid strains in US-German ties caused by the isolationist stance of US President Donald Trump.
During his initial visit, Pompeo had also called Germany “a big, important partner and ally for the United States,” saying that both countries had important work to do to achieve security, peace and stability as far as possible.
US lawmakers contend that the pipeline project, which is scheduled to start operation in the middle of 2020, will bolster Russia’s geopolitical leverage in Europe.
(With inputs from agency)