Libyan rivals to sign ceasefire deal in Moscow

Source: India Abroad News Service

Tripoli, Jan 13 (IANS) Libya’s rival forces will sign a ceasefire deal in Moscow on Monday, it was reported on Monday.

Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) on Sunday issued a statement, expressing its agreement to the ceasefire, hours after the rival forces announced a cessation of hostilities, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Libyan conflict escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments: the UN-backed, Tripoli-based GNA and a Tobruk-based government allied with self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar who seeks to take over Tripoli.

Reports said that Haftar was already in Moscow, where he could hold talks with GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj who is slated to arrive in the Russian capital on Monday.

Al-Sarraj on Monday called on Libyans to “turn the page on the past, reject discord and to close ranks to move towards stability and peace”.

Meanwhile, the international community has welcomed the ceasefire, with the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) expressing willingness to help find a peaceful solution and end the Libyan crisis.

“The embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US, and the Delegation of the European Union join the UN Support Mission for Libya in welcoming the acceptance by parties in Libya of a ceasefire and announcement that both the GNA and LNA will halt military operations,” a joint statement said late Sunday.

The statement called on the rival parties to “seize this fragile opportunity to address the key political, economic, and security issues underlying the conflict”.

The LNA has been leading a military campaign since early April last year in an attempt to take over Tripoli from the GNA.

Thousands of people, including immigrants, have been killed and injured in the fighting, and more than 120,000 civilians displaced.

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