Libya is seeking international guarantees for its future - this is the message that the prime minister of the UN-backed Libyan government, Al-Serraj, brought to Brussels for his talks with EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini. She urged the warring factions in Libya to agree to a ceasefire, in a conflict that has already killed 450 people and left 60.000 homeless.
But for the Libyan ambassador to the EU, Hafed Gaddur, political dialogue is possible only if the Libyan National Army pulls back.
"As long as this aggression continues, we will defend ourselves. We are willing to resume talks and return to political dialogue, but the aggressor should logically return to his base from where he started. So the only thing we are doing is defending this city, this government and this political agreement".
The country has been experiencing a return to violence since the troops of General Khalifa Haftar launched an attack on the capital Tripoli at the beginning of April. Al Serraj embarked on a diplomatic marathon in Europe that resulted in a series of declarations of political support. But now the unity government of Libya would like a stronger signal from the International community.
"We will ask for guarantees because the international community has always told us that Tripoli will never be attacked. But this guarantee was clearly not effective because 10 days before the UN conference, the aggressor arrived in Tripoli and attacked the capital. So, if we talk about a truce I believe that there should be someone who guarantees it internationally, be it the UN, the European Union or any other force".
The risk of a long term conflict, which at the moment looks like the most likely scenario, would have dire global implications, not least further mass migration to Europe.