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Moscow and Ankara are discussing ways to reach a ceasefire in Libya, but one of the warring sides – the GNA in Tripoli – is not on board, instead it’s counting on winning militarily, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
Military leader Khalifa Haftar declared that his forces will take control of Libya, arguing the UN-brokered unity deal which created a rival government in Tripoli is dead and that the “people’s will” gave him a mandate to rule.
The two major warring parties in the Libyan civil war have for the first time sat down for commission-level talks in Geneva. The meeting was agreed at the Libya summit in Berlin, after a peace process started by Russia and Turkey.
A Russian NGO has accused the government in Tripoli of breaking the pledge it made during peace talks by refusing to release two of its employees, arrested last year on charges of “meddling” in an election that never happened.
The head of the UN-backed Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj has said he would stick to the truce supported at the Berlin peace conference but would still not engage in direct talks with General Khalifa Haftar.
The Berlin peace summit shows that Russia and Turkey still have an important role to play as they are among the few countries that can really influence the situation in Libya, Yusuf Erim, a Turkish foreign policy expert, said.
A set of measures to overcome the ongoing Libyan crisis has been agreed in a wide-ranging document at the Berlin talks, the acting Russian FM said – and it is up to the Libyans themselves to take up the peace process baton.
An arms embargo and a draft plan to work toward a lasting ceasefire to end Libya’s years-long civil war has been agreed on in Berlin during a day of intensive peace talks, drawing on the process kickstarted by Russia and Turkey.
Upcoming talks in Berlin are an “important step” towards finally facilitating a long-lasting ceasefire in civil-war-torn Libya, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said ahead of negotiations on Sunday.