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Thu, 23 Jan 2020 08:59 GMT

Libya’s Ceasefire Talks Stall, await Haftar’s Decision


Nariman Mohammed

Mon, 13 Jan 2020 21:27 GMT

Russian President Vladimir Putin has played a significant role in trying to find a diplomatic resolution for the Libyan crisis and containing the situation by arranging a mini-summit in Moscow earlier on Monday, January 13th between Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA) forces in the east, and the Tripoli-based Fayez al-Sarraj government, according to Sky News.

The international efforts launched in Moscow have reached a dead-end, according to Abdul Hamid al-Safi Afkiren, media adviser to the Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives.

Afkiren highlighted that the discussions that had taken place during the mini-summit in Moscow were in fact indirect and that neither of the two sides were present during the talks.

The proposed ceasefire between the two sides has subsequently hit an obstacle, as no viable solution could be reached that would spare the country another civil conflict. Both sides have struggled to reach an agreement that would ensure a working ceasefire or the means to better monitor any proposed ceasefire.

Points of the agreement

The two most crucial sections that largely contributed to the negotiation’s failure were the role that Turkey has so far played in igniting the conflict, together with the LNA ceasing all military engagement on the ground and retiring to their designated bases across the country.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, progress in talks has been evident in Moscow; however, the negotiations have been fruitless, with no substantial development to be implemented until Haftar makes a decision on most of the raised issues.

Lavrov said some sides in the conflict had signed the ceasefire deal, but Haftar had asked for more time to consider the matter.

Haftar has also insisted that the ceasefire be monitored internationally, and he asked for easy and safe access for humanitarian aid to help both sides of the conflict.

He then called for one national consensus government that would represent all the Libyan people to speak on their behalf and gain the trust of the Libyan parliament in Tabrek, while also stressing upon humanitarian aid for the people in Tripoli.

The ceasefire talks have been left on hold awaiting Haftar’s decision.

Reasons behind the Moscow mini-summit

The proposition of a ceasefire agreement came in the hope of reaching a solution to de-escalate the imminent conflict in Libya.

Late last year, Turkey backed the Sarraj government, which resulted in the two sides signing a memorandum of understanding on maritime demarcation in the eastern Mediterranean as well as a security agreement that could deepen military cooperation between both countries.

According to the New York Times, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed in a televised interview on Sunday, January 5th that Turkey has already started deploying troops to Libya to support the Sarraj government in Tripoli despite Western states warning against escalation.

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