Libya truce talks break down after Haftar leaves without signing deal

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Khalifa Haftar
Khalifa Haftar

RUSSIA’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that Libyan military commander, Khalifa Haftar, left Moscow without signing a ceasefire deal with the rival, UN-recognised government.

Russia and Turkey attempted to broker a lasting truce agreement at talks in the Russian capital on Monday that brought together Haftar and the head of the Tripoli-based government, Fayez al-Serraj.

Al-Serraj signed onto the deal but Haftar, who commands the eastern-based Libyan National Army, had asked to have until Tuesday morning to consider it.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Haftar departed early Tuesday, the TASS news agency reported.

“The draft agreement ignores many of the Libyan army’s demands,’’ the Al Arabiya TV channel quoted him as saying.

A representative of the government associated with Haftar had signed the deal, providing brief optimism that the commander eventually would, too.

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, acknowledged the talks ended in failure while on a trip to Sri Lanka.

“We will push ahead with efforts in this direction; no final results have been achieved so far,’’ Lavrov told reporters, according to Russian media.

Monday’s talks were expected to have formalised a tentative ceasefire that went into effect on Sunday.

But the truce was never fully implemented and reports of fighting continue in Libya.

Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of the long-time dictator, Moamer Gaddafi.

The oil-rich country has two competing administrations: the UN-backed government of al-Serraj in Tripoli and the other, based in the eastern city of Tobruk, allied with Haftar. (dpa/NAN)

– Jan. 14, 2020 @ 12:47 GMT |

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