The head of Libya’s UN-recognized government in Tripoli and the renegade military commander leading forces against it may visit Moscow soon in an effort to resolve the crisis, a Russian diplomat said Sunday.
“Fayez al-Sarraj and [Khalifa] Haftar will separately meet with Russian officials and a Turkish delegation cooperating with Russia,” said Lev Dengov, the head of the Russian contact group on intra-Libyan settlement, speaking to Russian state news agency Ria Novosti.
“Representatives from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt will most likely be attending the meetings as observers,” Dengov said.
The Government of National Accord (GNA) and forces loyal to Haftar accepted a joint call by Turkey and Russia for a ceasefire late Saturday.
The ceasefire took effect at midnight local time (2200GMT) and the decision was celebrated with fireworks in Tripoli.
“During the meetings, resolution of the Libyan crisis will be discussed, and the possibility of signing a ceasefire agreement and details of such a deal will be negotiated,” Dengov added.
It is not clear whether Sarraj and Haftar will have a bilateral meeting, he noted.
- Fully adhere to ceasefire
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) welcomed “the acceptance of a ceasefire & the announcement of the halting of military ops by parties in Libya” on Twitter.
“The Mission urges all parties to fully adhere to the ceasefire & to make room for peaceful efforts to address their differences through a Libyan-Libyan dialogue,” it said.
UNSMIL expresses “its full readiness to stand with the Libyans and to use all its means to assist them in achieving a peaceful and comprehensive solution to the Libyan crisis,” it added.
On April 4 last year, Haftar launched an offensive to capture Tripoli from the GNA. According to the UN, more than 1,000 people have been killed since the start of the operation and more than 5,000 others injured.
Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
Reporting By Nilay Kar in Moscow
Writing By Ali Cura and Gulsen Topcu