Libya’s warring rival governments announced in separate statements Friday that they would cease all hostilities and organize nationwide elections soon, an understanding swiftly welcomed by the United Nations.
Head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj “issued instructions to all military forces to immediately cease fire and all combat operations in all Libyan territories”, the statement said.
In a separate statement, the head of Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament Aguila Saleh Issa also called for a ceasefire.
Saleh said his request for a ceasefire arose “because of his political and national responsibility and the current situation in the country and region, as well as because of the circumstances of the pandemic”.
“The ceasefire ends the road for any military interventions and must end in the expulsion of all mercenaries and the dissolution of all militias to return full national sovereignty”, Saleh said in the statement.
Libya is currently divided between two rival governments — an elected parliament in the east of the country, supported by the Libyan National Army (LNA), and the GNA in the west.
The Tripoli-based government has urged for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in March.
Acting UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Stephanie Williams has welcomed the agreement between the two rival powers in Libya.
“The Acting SRSG to Libya Stephanie Williams warmly welcomes the points of agreement in the declarations issued today by President of the Presidency Council Fayez Al-Serraj and Speaker of the House of Representative Aguila Saleh — which demonstrate the courage which Libya is in urgent need of during these trying times — and which call for a ceasefire, in the hope that this will be taken up quickly by the 5+5 Joint Military Commission, with the departure of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libyan soil”, the UN official said in a statement.
On 17 August, Turkish and Qatari defense ministers Hulusi Akar and Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah arrived in Tripoli and met with GNA cabinet members and leaders, including Interior Minister Fathi Bashaga.
As a result of the visit, Turkey, Qatar, and the GNA signed an agreement to establish a Turkish naval base in the Libyan city of Misrata, according to the Al-Arabiya TV channel. The negotiations coincided with a working visit by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who is in Tripoli to promote the demilitarization of the strategic city of Sirte.
Source: Sputnik and AFP