Malta has offered to host peace talks aimed at resolving an escalating crisis in Libya, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Saturday.

The offer to host talks was made as part of a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in Brussels, called to discuss the Libyan situation as well as growing military tensions in Iraq and Iran.

Libya is on the brink of war and diplomats have warned that the country risks becoming a “second Syria” if military conflict there continues to escalate.

The situation has grown increasingly volatile in recent weeks after military strongman General Khalifa Haftar captured the strategic city of Sirte and Turkey deployed troops to back the UN-recognised Libyan government battling him.

Ceasefire calls

Several governments, including those within the EU, the USA, Russia and Turkey itself, have called for a ceasefire in Libya.

But Haftar has dismissed those calls and said that Libya’s stability could only be assured by an “eradication of terrorist groups” and dissolving the militia controlling the capital, Tripoli.

Malta has spoken out against foreign intervention in Libya and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. It has also said that the UN Security Council holds the key to deescalating the crisis.

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“A solution for peace, security, stability and ultimately prosperity in Libya requires a durable and comprehensive ceasefire, and an effective implementation of the 2011 arms embargo on Libya,” the Maltese government said on Saturday.

EU member states are expected to hold a summit in the next weeks to further discuss how to resolve the issue. In that context, Malta has offered to host peace talks and submitted its offer to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell.

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