Indirect talks between LNA and GNA end in Geneva end with no consensus on a ceasefire agreement in Libya.
According to AFP
As both sides agreed to the need to continue the negotiations to reach a comprehensive ceasefire agreement, the UN has proposed 18 February 2020 as the date for a new round of talk’’
The United Nations special envoy on Libya played its role as a mediator between the Libyan government and Khalifa Haftar. The UN recognized the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) appointed five officers. The eastern-based military commander Haftar who commands the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), also appointed five members for the talks.
The first round of talks which convened in Geneva has ended with no significant progress. According to Ghassan Salame, the two sides were not meeting face-to-face, ‘’shuttle diplomacy’’ was involved for working towards a cease-fire deal.
Ghassan Salame said on Thursday
The ceasefire agreement is made of several issues, and there have been points of convergence on many points. And there are points of divergence.”
The talks aimed to work towards a solution in the region, a deal that would include ceasing fire, the return of internally displaced people, disarmament of armed groups, and ways to enforce the deal.
Salame earlier said that they were hoping for some progress, especially the return of internally displaced people and preserving Libyan sovereignty but failed to come towards a solution.
The talks came amid intensifying diplomacy among key World players seeking an end to the conflict. The clashes in Libya intensified in April 2019, when Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to regain control of the capital, Tripoli.
Haftar’s Libyan National Army controls the significant amount of area of the country’s east and south. LNA receives military assistance from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia. Turkey, Italy, and Qatar back the Tripoli-based GNA.
Participants regarded the Berlin conference that convened last month to solve the feeble Libyan political process as a positive step. Chancellor Angela Merkel successfully kept the motion afloat as catastrophe loomed.
The Berlin conference began when Haftar was about to launch his final offensive on Tripoli, backed by Russian mercenaries and UAE’s military support. Meanwhile, two thousand Syrian fighters had been deployed from Ankara to assist Tripoli, and Ankara is threatening to land its troops.
The involvement of Germany in solving the crisis raised hopes to end the military confrontation. Because the two key European players in Libya, France, and Italy, took part in the conference. The Italian government’s participation was a positive step.
One of the outcomes of the conference was the implementation of the arms embargo. Which Salame now says is not being implemented, as both sides are receiving military support from allies.
But the events on the grounds indicated that the talks had failed.
Foreign Involvement in Libya
France has been supporting Haftar since 2011 after the Muammar Gaddafi regime fell. It has provided LNA with arms, military intelligence alongside the UAE, Russia, and Egypt.
Despite the UN’s arms embargo, French-made anti-tank missiles were found in LNA’s militias’ hands.
Meanwhile, Italy has been supporting Fayyaz-al-Siraj’s GNA in a bid to protect its economic interests and its investments in the former colony.
Turkey has been sending Syrian fighters to aid Tripoli against Haftar’s Libyan National Army.
Libyan Oil and Tribesmen
United Nations envoy gave no update on efforts to end a blockade of major oilfields and oil ports by forces and tribesmen loyal to the Haftar.
Earlier on Thursday, Salame said he had talked to tribesmen behind the blockade and was awaiting their demands.
He also added that the blockade would be high on the agenda at a meeting in Egypt’s Capital on Sunday between representatives from eastern, western, and southern Libya, seeking to overcome economic divisions in a country with two governments.
The tribes and communities of eastern Libya, which is controlled by LNA, said in a statement that they opposed resuming oil exports unless Tripoli is freed of militias. They also demanded that Turkey must stop sending Syrian fighters in Tripoli.
Furthermore, they called for a fair distribution of oil revenues. The loyalty of tribesmen to Haftar is also because of neglect since 2011.
Libya on African Union Agenda
African leaders are gathering in the capital of Ethiopia ahead of the annual African Union summit, which begins on Sunday, and high on the agenda will be the conflict in Libya.
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