On Thursday, Germany confirmed Libyan warlord General Khalif Haftar’s, who has been leading Libyan National Army (LNA), readiness to hold ceasefire talks to restore peace and de-escalate the almost decade-long crisis in the African country. German foreign minister Heiko Maas after holding talks in Benghazi, tweeted, “During my visit to Libya today, General Haftar made clear: He wants to contribute to the success of the Libyan conference in Berlin and is in principle ready to participate in it. He has agreed to abide by the ongoing ceasefire.”
Haftar’s LNA which controls much of Libya has been launching offensives to capture the capital city of Tripoli, which so far is under the UN-recognised government led by Fayez Al Sarraj. Sarraj’s recent defense pact with Turkey, led to deployment of over 2000 Syrian rebel fighters in Libya, which intensified the crisis in the region.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Haftar’s move and announced that Berlin would be hosting peace talks between rival parties of Haftar and Sarraj to ensure both reinstate a weapons embargo imposed by UN.
Merkel told reporters, “At the Libya conference we must above all see that the weapons embargo is adhered to again, which is basically agreed by the U.N. but unfortunately not honored.”
Maas said that the members who would be a party to the Berlin include Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and European leaders.
In recent times, this is the second attempt at calling for ceasefire talks after Moscow talks failed, held earlier this week. Haftar declined to sign the peace agreement with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after Erdogan’s further intensified the country’s internal clashes, which since April killed more than 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters and displacing tens of thousands.
Erdogan signed a military pact with Sarraj in November 2019, extending a helping hand to GNA, offering to combat the rival forces of Libyan strongman General Khalifa Haftar, in exchange for letting Ankara conduct energy exploration in its region.
Libya is battling with instability and proxy wars since its veteran dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in a 2011 uprising.
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