German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes participants before the start of the international peace conference on Libya in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, January 19.

READ MORE: Germany is bringing together the key players in Libya's long-running civil war in a bid to curb foreign military meddling, solidify a cease-fire and help relaunch a political process to determine the North African nation's future.

Merkel invited leaders from 12 countries as well as the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League to Sunday's summit at the chancellery in Berlin. Germany's months-long diplomatic drive seeks to bolster efforts to stop the fighting in Libya by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame.

In attendance are Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Other countries invited are the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Algeria, China and the Republic of Congo.

Also attending are Libya's two main rival leaders: Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj and Gen. Khalifa Haftar.

The chances of the summit producing any real progress are unclear, however. While getting the players to the table is an achievement, recent stepped-up outside support may have emboldened both sides not to compromise.

Since the 2011 ouster and killing of Libya's longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the country has sunk further into chaos and turmoil. Libya is divided into rival administrations, each with the backing of different nations: the U.N.-recognized government based in Tripoli, headed by Sarraj, and one based in the country's east, supported by Haftar's forces.

Haftar's forces have been on the offensive since April, laying siege to Tripoli in an effort to capture the capital and battling militias aligned with the government. Haftar's forces are backed by Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, while the Tripoli government has turned to Turkey for troops and weapons.

A truce brokered earlier this month by Russia and Turkey marked the first break in fighting in months.

LINK: https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/germany-hosts-summit-peace-politics-...

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