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It's a step forward that ceasefire in Libya is holding, even though rival leaders ‘not ready’ for direct talks – Russian FM

It's a step forward that ceasefire in Libya is holding, even though rival leaders ‘not ready’ for direct talks – Russian FM
The warring sides in Libya are sticking to their truce, though their leaders haven't yet begun direct talks, Sergey Lavrov confirmed. It's crucial, he added, that they don’t set additional demands after a peace summit in Berlin.

The ceasefire between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) “is nevertheless respected,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow, describing it as “a definite step forward.”

General Khalifa Haftar, who leads the LNA, and Fayez al-Sarraj, the GNA prime minister, failed to reach an agreement at recent talks in Moscow. The next peace summit on Libya is set to take place in Berlin this Sunday.

Lavrov observed that there is some hope for success if both rivals manage to come to terms:

The main thing now is that, after the Berlin conference, if everything goes as planned, Libya's parties don't repeat their previous mistakes and don't begin putting forward additional conditions, and blaming each other

So far, it’s unlikely that Haftar and al-Sarraj could talk or even meet with each other as relations between them are “very tense.” Both leaders “don’t even want to be in the same room,” the minister revealed.

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Lavrov himself will take part in the Berlin meeting, as will representatives of major powers and Libya's rival camps. Participants will try to cement the ceasefire around Tripoli and resume negotiations over a power-sharing deal between Haftar and al-Sarraj.

Libya has been in turmoil since the NATO-led 2011 intervention that toppled its longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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