North Africa: Berlin Conference On Libya - Germany "Regrets" Not Inviting Tunisia At Right Time

Locator map showing Algeria (green) and Libya (orange).

Tunis/Tunisia — Germany regrets not having invited Tunisia to the Berlin Conference on Libya at the right time, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Thursday in Tunis.

At his meeting Thursday in the Carthage Palace with President Kaïs Saïed, the German minister underlined his country's commitment to associate Tunisia to any initiative that will take place on the Libyan issue, including monitoring the implementation of the Berlin Conference.

"Tunisia enjoys an important position for Germany," he said, stressing its crucial role in achieving stability in Libya.

Heiko Maas was quoted in a Presidency statement as saying the political settlement of the Libyan crisis is the best solution.

For his part, President Kaïs Saïed stressed that the "excellent" relations between Tunisia and Germany are not only bilateral, but also involve coordinating positions and sharing views on crucial issues of interest, first and foremost the Libyan issue.

"Tunisia should have an active role in resolving the Libyan crisis in accordance with the new approach," he said, calling for an inter-Libyan dialogue, far from any foreign interference.

During a telephone conversation with President Kaïs Saïed on Wednesday evening, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she understood Tunisia's position to turn down the invitation to participate in the Berlin Conference on Libya, affirming that Tunisia will be invited to the next foreign ministers' meeting and to any initiative on the Libyan issue.

The German Chancellor said she regretted a "last-minute" invitation to Tunisia.

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