Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis in Paris for Libya Conference

Press releases, 12.11.2021

On 12 November 2021, the city of Paris hosted the most recent international conference on Libya, attended by members of the Berlin Process Political Working Group as well as representatives from Libya's neighbouring countries and interim government. The conference, which is co-chaired by France, Germany, Italy and the UN, supports the political transition in Libya. In his speech, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis called for free and fair elections. Switzerland contributes to resolving the conflict in Libya through its peace building efforts and role as host state for the negotiations.

As part of the Berlin process on Libya, Switzerland is committed to fostering the conditions needed for lasting peace in the country. In its capacity as co-chair of the working group on international humanitarian law and human rights, Switzerland contributes its expertise in this field as well as its tradition of good offices and experience in peace processes.

During the conference, Mr Cassis, who is also the head of the FDFA, underlined the importance of implementing Libya's political transition. The transition process aims to restore stability in the country and wider region, particularly through the national elections scheduled for December and by putting an end to foreign interference in Libya. "The elections must take place in a secure environment that allows all Libyans to vote in safety. In the crucial weeks to come, Libya needs our support more than ever as it embarks on this difficult path," Mr Cassis stressed. The conference participants also voiced their support for free, fair and inclusive elections as set out in the political road map endorsed by Libyan stakeholders on 16 November 2020.

Call for foreign fighters to withdraw

Another focus of the conference was on the withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces from Libyan territory in line with a number of UN Security Council resolutions and as agreed by Libya's Joint Military Commission last October in Geneva. Lastly, the participants reiterated the importance of respecting the ceasefire agreement of 23 October 2020 and the fair and equitable management of the country's natural resources.

Switzerland closely involved as host state

Since February 2020, Switzerland has acted in its role as host state to facilitate the organisation of eight meetings under the UN's three-point peace plan, which covers the political, military and economic dimensions. In this context, three key events have taken place: first, the ceasefire agreement between the two conflicting parties signed in Geneva on 23 October 2020; second, a new transitional executive authority for Libya elected in the Canton of Vaud on 5 February 2021; and third, the agreement on an action plan for the withdrawal of foreign fighters reached on 8 October 2021 in Geneva.

Switzerland's activities in Libya are set out in the Federal Council's Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23 and MENA Strategy 2021–24 with a focus on supporting a resolution to the Libyan conflict, strengthening human rights, reducing forced displacement, and protecting the most vulnerable population groups.

Further information:

Foreign Policy Strategy 2020-2023
MENA Strategy 2021-2024

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Communication service: +41 58 462 31 53
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
E-mail: kommunikation@eda.admin.ch
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs