Middle East, Africa, Europe

Russia urges Libyan military committee to convene soon

Moscow says initiating dialogue between conflict sides 'primary task'

Elena Teslova   | 28.01.2020
Russia urges Libyan military committee to convene soon file photo


Russia has urged to convene the Libyan military committee at the earliest to address the issue of cease-fire.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Tuesday he expects a dialogue within the format in Geneva will pave the way for lasting peace in the region.

"We urge that they convene as soon as possible. [...] The main thing is to stop the fighting and establish an inclusive, inter-Libyan dialogue. The main and primary task is to initiate contacts between Libyans so that they reach a consensus on all these proposals," Bogdanov told reporters in Moscow.

He added that the cease-fire in Libya following the call of the Russian and Turkish leaders is widely respected although there are minor violations.

Asked if east-Libya based commander Khalifa Haftar is expected to come to Moscow in the near future, Bogdanov said the possibility could not be ruled out.

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 the UN and international recognition.

Libya’s legitimate government had been under attack by Haftar since last April, claiming the lives of more than 1,000 people.

On Jan. 12, the conflict parties announced a cease-fire in response to a joint call by the Turkish and Russian leaders. But talks last week for a permanent cease-fire deal ended without an agreement after Haftar left Moscow without signing the deal.

On Jan. 19, Haftar accepted at the Berlin conference on Libya to designate members to a UN-proposed military commission with five members from each side to monitor implementation of the cease-fire.

The decision to set up the Libyan military committee with five representatives from each side was a key result of the Berlin conference.

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