Maas stated the need to control arms transfers to Libya

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said it was necessary to establish an arms embargo monitoring operation in Libya, which would equally control all access to arms supplies to the country.

“Some unfortunately have difficulty monitoring the embargo by ships. But a new mission could begin with aerial surveillance. In this way, we could gradually establish an operation that would control all access to Libya – sea, air and land. No one should be able to smuggle weapons into Libya unnoticed”, –  Maas told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

According to Maas, Prime Minister of the National Accord Government Fayez Sarraj receives weapons primarily by sea, while Libyan National Army Commander Marshal Khalifa Haftar receives them by land and air. “We must control all the routes equally”, –  he added.

When asked about the possibility of sanctions based on the monitoring, Maas said, “There are a number of tools we can imagine”.

Earlier Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz said in an interview with Welt that Austria opposed the use of Operation Sophia to monitor the UN arms embargo on Libya.

After the Berlin conference on Libya the EU foreign ministers did not rule out that the EU countries could use the naval mission “Sofia” created in 2015 to fight against smugglers in international waters off the Libyan coast to control the UN arms embargo on Libya.

Mission “Sofia” with the use of the EU naval forces was established in 2015 to combat the smuggling of people and weapons in international waters off the Libyan coast. In 2019 it was decided to stop it.

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