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Haftar Committed to Libya Ceasefire, to Join Berlin Conference

Haftar Committed to Libya Ceasefire, to Join Berlin Conference

Friday, 17 January, 2020 - 07:15
This image grab taken from a video obtained from Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army War Information Division's Facebook page on January 16, 2020, shows Haftar (R) greeting German Foreign Minister Minister Heiko Maas in Libya's second city of Benghazi. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / LNA War Information Division / AFP)

Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar is committed to a ceasefire, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Thursday after three-hours of talks between them in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

"Haftar has signaled his readiness to contribute to the success of the Libya Conference in Berlin (on Sunday) and is willing to participate. He has repeated his commitment to observe the existing ceasefire," Maas said in a tweet sent by his ministry.

Germany invited the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, through a phone call made by Maas on Wednesday. But he invited Haftar through a face-to-face meeting on Thursday.

There have been failed efforts by Russia and Turkey to persuade Haftar on a visit to Moscow this week to agree to a lasting ceasefire and halt his offensive on the Libyan capital Tripoli. Haftar left Moscow without signing the proposal.

The conference to be hosted by Germany on Sunday would bring together Haftar and Sarraj, and several foreign powers to try to end the offensive on Tripoli and resume talks on a power sharing deal.

Among those attending would be Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Wednesday for firm support for the peace talks and asked for a halt in the fighting.

In a report to the Security Council he urged all parties to "engage constructively towards that end, including within the Berlin process".

He also warned against "external interference", which he said would "deepen the ongoing conflict and further complicate efforts to reach a clear international commitment to a peaceful resolution of the underlying crisis".

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