Libya: UN Envoy Ghassan Salame Confirms Progress In Ceasefire Talks Between Rival Sides

United Nations special envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, on Thursday said there has been progress in talks between the two warring sides on certain issues related to the ongoing conflict, reported The Libya Observer.

The 10-member “Libya Joint Military Commission” is comprised of five senior officers appointed by the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and five appointed by eastern-based renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar.

During a press conference in Geneva where the rival sides are meeting, Salame said progress has been made on many important issues towards reaching a permanent ceasefire, but there were still two or three points that need to be discussed which include the return of internally displaced people, the disarmament of armed groups and ways to monitor the truce.

He said he is hoping to get better feasible results after the meeting, saying both parties will return to Libya to discuss the results with their leaderships. The delegates will reconvene Friday to discuss the latest draft.

“The meetings between the two parties in Geneva weren’t face to face. We have been trying to reach agreement on a permanent ceasefire and many points were agreed upon by the parties, yet this needs more commitments.” Salame said.

The UN envoy added that a separate commission dealing with economic affairs between the two sides is set to meet in Cairo on Sunday and he was hopeful that talks between the two sides could begin in Geneva on February 26.

The fighting erupted in April last year when eastern-based forces under the command of Khalifa Hifter launched an offensive to capture Tripoli from the U.N.-backed government led by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj.

Haftar’s forces, which control much of Libya’s east and south, have got military assistance from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, France, and Russia. On the other side, the Tripoli-based government has got backing from Turkey, Italy, and Qatar.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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