Talk to Al Jazeera

Fayez al-Sarraj on arms, war and peace in Libya

Libya’s prime minister discusses if the Berlin-Libya summit can achieve a permanent ceasefire.

With Libya’s civil war now in its sixth year, world leaders gathered at a summit in Berlin in an attempt to restore stability and peace to Libya.

The summit was aimed at a stronger commitment from world powers and regional actors to non-interference in the oil-rich North African state and to genuinely support a fragile ceasefire. 

All participating parties pledged to respect a UN-imposed arms embargo that has so far failed to stop an influx of troops, money and weapons to the country.

Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, who leads the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli, and renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, who heads the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), attended the talks, but not in the same room.

The main cause of the Libyan crisis is the hostile foreign interventions,” al-Sarraj told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview. 

“Violations to the arms embargo have been taking place for years. This is what led the opposition to believe that they have military power and pushed them away from finding a political solution. This is because of its excessive military and security support.”

Al-Sarraj says, while Haftar is “not a serious partner for achieving peace in Libya”, a political solution is the only way to end the conflict and to avoid for Libya to become “another Syria or a source of conflict or a proxy war on Libyan soil”.

“We know that some countries, including Russia, have interests and ambitions in Libya … We wonder why the UAE is building a military base in eastern Libya, sending its planes and supporting one side at the expense of the other … It is not correct to recognise a party and then support the other party the way they are doing it.”

He adds that countries “should review their position on Libya” because the region would benefit more from a stable and unified Libya.

“Libya, in its current situation, leads to security problems and terrorism, uncontrolled borders and violence. This can impact neighbouring countries, too,” he warned. “Everyone is now talking about stopping the flow of arms to Libya. We hope that this will be the last conference. And hopefully, the Libyan crisis will finally be resolved.”

Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj talks to Al Jazeera about the Berlin summit, foreign interference in Libya and his hopes for the future.