Russia: Libya combatants not prepared for peace

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Moscow refused to support UN Security plan for permanent ceasefire

Feb 26, 2020

February 26, 2020

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Eastern and western warring factions in Libya do not appear ready to reach a lasting peace in the country, Russia's deputy foreign minister said

Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted by Russian media as saying Moscow had seen no evidence that Libya's warring factions were prepared to implement military and political decisions reached at a conference in Berlin in January.

Earlier this month, Russia abstained from a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the conclusions of the international summit on Libya in Berlin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters the conference in January agreed that a tentative truce in Tripoli should be turned into a permanent ceasefire.

It was hoped a cessation to hostilities would allow a political process for peace to progress but a more solid agreement between the two sides has been elusive.

Mr Bogdanov said that the truce announced by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), and Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa Al Sarraj on January 12 was generally being observed.

Libya has been plagued by instability since 2011 and the toppling of 40-year dictator Muammar Al Qaddafi during the Nato-backed intervention in the country.

In April, Mr Haftar, the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), launched an ongoing assault on the seat of the GNA in Tripoli. The conflict has increasingly drawn in international actors.

The Russian deputy foreign minister also hit out at Turkey on Wednesday for helping foreign fighters to reach Libya. Thousands of Syrian fighters have travelled to Libya in recent weeks to support the GNA.

Turkey last week renewed allegations that Russia had sent 2,500 mercenaries from a private security company to fight in Libya. The claims are denied by Moscow.

Updated: February 26, 2020 03:06 PM

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