Egypt supports cease-fire in Libya, signing expected today in Moscow

Libya's prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya, Fayez al-Sarraj. EPA-EFE/ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI

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Egypt and Algeria on Sunday announced their support for the cease-fire in Libya, which was jointly urged by Turkey and Russia earlier this week.

“Egypt welcomes the unconditional ceasefire declared in Libya and expresses its support to all who will prevent the bloodshed of our brotherly people of Libya,” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement according to Turkish news agency AA.

The statement added that Egypt supports a comprehensive political solution to protect the unity and territorial integrity of its neighbour countries, including Libya.

Meanwhile, Algeria’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “Welcoming the cease-fire in Libya, Algeria urges all sides to adhere to the cease-fire and to resume a dialogue process as soon as possible.”

On Saturday, GNA in Tripoli and forces loyal to Libya’s renegade Gen. Khalifa Haftar accepted a joint call by Turkey and Russia for a cease-fire.

Both sides in Libya’s conflict are expected Monday in Moscow to sign an agreement on the terms of a ceasefire which went into effect over the weekend, ending nine months of fighting after weeks of international diplomacy.

Lev Dengov, the head of the Russian contact group on Libya, said that the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar and the Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez Serraj will meet to discuss “the possibility of signing a truce and the details of such a document”, Interfax said.

It is still unclear whether Haftar and Serraj will meet face to face, he added.

The cease-fire took effect at midnight local time (2200GMT) and the decision was celebrated with fireworks in Tripoli.

In the meantime, Libya’s duelling factions accused each other of violating a ceasefire, just hours after a truce was agreed by the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and their main rivals led by ex-general Khalifa Haftar.

The GNA accused Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) of breaching the ceasefire minutes after it began.

The Tripoli-based government warned it would “respond violently and harshly” if Haftar’s forces breached the agreement again.

There were no reports of drone or fighter jet strikes, which have been common in recent weeks as fighting around Tripoli escalated and the LNA took Sirte, a strategically important city midway along Libya’s coastline.

Turkey’s defence ministry said it had observed that all sides were trying to abide by the ceasefire, and that the situation was calm except for “one or two separate incidents”.

GNA Prime Minister Fayez Serraj met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Sunday, the Turkey’s presidency said, without giving details.

 

Read more via Reuters/ DW/ AA

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