Politics, Middle East, Africa

Libya's GNA not to return to Geneva talks: Top official

Head of Libyan High Council of State says UN-recognized Government of National Accord will not be part of UN-mediated talks

Aydogan Kalabalik  | 22.02.2020 - Update : 22.02.2020
Libya's GNA not to return to Geneva talks: Top official


Libya’s legitimate government will have no further participation in the UN-mediated talks in Geneva, the head of the country’s High Council of State said on Saturday.

Khalid al-Mishri, chairman of the top advisory council, ruled out the possibility of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) returning to negotiations in Switzerland.

He said Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar’s forces were constantly attacking civilians with continuous financial support from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The senior official also criticized the UN for failing to share relevant details regarding the talks, including the names of participants.

On Tuesday, a joint military commission representing the GNA and Haftar’s forces had started a second round of talks in Geneva.

But the GNA pulled out on Wednesday following repeated cease-fire violations by Haftar’s forces, including an attack on Tripoli’s port that killed three civilians and injured five others.

The 5+5 joint military commission was formed after last month’s Berlin conference and was tasked with finding ways to ensure a permanent cease-fire.

The conference was attended by representatives of the U.S., Turkey, Russia, the U.K., UN, Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, the Republic of the Congo, UAE, African Union, EU, and League of Arab States.

Under the agreement reached in Berlin, all signatories committed to not interfere in Libya's civil war, to support a cease-fire, honor the arms embargo, and support the UN-facilitated political process.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

Libya's legitimate government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, and more than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat in Ankara.

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