by Katrin Bennhold and Melissa Eddy*
Berlin — Russia, Turkey and a dozen other international powers with competing interests in oil-rich Libya called Sunday for a cease-fire and an arms embargo, committing to end their own interference on the ground to give Libyans space for a political reconciliation.
Sunday’s gathering, hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, offered a small glimmer of hope in the North African nation’s protracted civil war, which has been further complicated recently by an escalating proxy war between Turkey and Russia. Both President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, whose countries have mercenaries on the ground, attended the meeting.
But the leaders of Libya’s two warring factions — the embattled head of the United Nations-backed government and a former Libyan army general who is laying siege to the capital — refused to even spend time in the same room. Ms. Merkel said the international participants spoke only individually to the two Libyan leaders, who were not at the conference table but were kept informed of developments throughout the day.
“We all agreed that we need a political solution,” Ms. Merkel said. “Recent days have shown that there is no chance for a military solution.”
*correspondent for The New York Times since 2004 and correspondent based in Berlin who covers German politics, social issues and culture for The New York Times
**first published in: www.nytimes.com