Tripoli-based Libyan officials visit Moscow as rival factions hold separate talks overseas
The leaders of Libya’s warring factions reportedly traveled abroad for separate talks on Wednesday, after the UN said both sides had agreed to resume ceasefire negotiations. Since April 2019 the eastern Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar has been attacking the capital Tripoli, seat of the internationally recognized government of National Accord (GNA).
GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj was expected in Ankara late on Wednesday, according to Turkish media. His deputy, Ahmed Maiteeg, and GNA Foreign Minister Mohamed Siyala arrived in Moscow earlier in the day.
After meeting them, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the presence of Russian prisoners in Tripoli was the main obstacle to cooperation between the two countries. Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s call for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, and dialogue between all political forces.
The GNA, supported by Turkey, has driven the LNA out of several areas of northwest Libya in recent weeks. Haftar has traveled to Egypt to meet defense officials, Reuters quoted a source close to him as saying on Wednesday.