Heiko Maas has expressed optimism ahead of the Libyan conference held in Berlin. He has also repeated calls for the withdrawal of foreign fighters and weapons from the country.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on foreign fighters to leave Libya to ensure a peaceful transition in comments made ahead of Wednesday's Berlin conference.
Maas said he was hopeful that the second internationally backed Libya talks to be held in Berlin will boost the transitional government so that Libyans "can take the fate of their country into their own hands."
The German foreign minister made it clear that the planned elections for December 24 this year must go ahead. "We will continue to campaign for them alongside the Libyan government and the UN," Maas said.
Foreign ministers from the US, Russia, China, Turkey and Egypt were planning to take part in the Berlin talks, the second meeting in the German capital to discuss the situation in the North African country.
Maas optimistic about progress
The previous talks, held in January last year, also sought the withdrawal of foreign soldiers and weapons from Libya. According to the UN's most recent data, some 20,000 foreign fighters are still in the country.
Maas struck an optimistic tone, pointing out that the collaboration between the Libyan transitional government and the UN had helped avoid a much worse disaster.
"Almost two years ago, Libya was on the edge of spiraling into chaos and violence," the German foreign minister said.
Libya was dragged into a bitter civil war in 2011 as different political groups battled it out in the power vacuum left by the overthrow of the country's dictatorial President Moammar Gadhafi.
Global players meet in Berlin
US Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken will take part in the talks as part of a short trip to Europe. He is the highest-ranking US official to take part in the Berlin Conference on Libya.
Alongside key foreign actors, Maas underlined the role that Libyans themselves should be allowed to take in this new phase of the talks where they "will not just talk about Libya, but with Libyans about the future of their country."
Maas welcomed Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush on Tuesday evening. He tweeted that Germany would "continue with our support for peace and stability in Libya."