At a glance: Towards MED2019 – Regional Meetings
MED is the annual high-level initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies) in Rome, with the aim to rethink traditional approaches to the area, to complement analyses of current challenges with new ideas and suggestions and to draft a new “positive agenda”, addressing shared challenges at both the regional and international level.
Launched in 2015, MED has quickly become the global hub for high–level dialogues on the broader Mediterranean engaging prominent leaders of Mediterranean governments, business, civil society, media and academia.
In the context of the Mediterranean Dialogues, Towards MED – Regional Meetings are a series of preparatory events intended to promote targeted and in-depth discussions about relevant themes concerning the Mediterranean region. These initiatives will involve international experts from leading think tanks and institutional representatives.
Background of the event
Since the outbreak of hostilities in Tripoli in early April, the prospects of a negotiated settlement to the Libyan crisis appear dimmer than ever. The military offensive led by Khalifa Haftar and carried out by the Libyan National Army (LNA) against forces allied to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has thwarted UN-led efforts to forge a new power- military triumph sharing deal or chart a consensual political roadmap to unify Libya’s institutions divided since 2014. The logic of war and has taken over and is increasingly being embraced by Libya’s main rival parties as the sole means to stabilize the country. For Haftar-led forces, this means capturing the capital and resetting the political scene in their favor. For forces allied to the GNA, a victory entails pushing the besieging forces outside the boundaries of western Libya. But almost three months into the war and over 600 deaths on the battlefront, there is no sign that either side is anywhere close to achieving its objective. Instead a deadly stalemate appears to be setting in on the outskirts of Tripoli and a similar conflict of attrition could soon engulf other parts of the country.
In this workshop held at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, we brought together leading analysts of the Libyan conflict and some political activist in order to brainstorm on possible short-term strategies to persuade the parties to agree on a ceasefire and more long-term options to solve the underlying political, military and economic rivalries that have fueled the war. The objective was to help inform European policy makers and provide them with some out-of-the-box thinking on how to de-escalate the conflict and beyond the obsolete formats of dialogue proposed in the past.
By invitation only