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Russian, Turkish Call for Ceasefire in Libya Welcomed

Russian, Turkish Call for Ceasefire in Libya Welcomed

Friday, 10 January, 2020 - 08:45
A handout picture provided by the Tunisian Presidency Press Service on January 9, 2020 shows President Kais Saied (L) shaking hands with French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at the presidential palace in Carthage, east of the capital Tunis. AFP

The Government of National Accord (GNA) welcomed Thursday endeavors by friendly countries to resolve the Libyan crisis, and a call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin to a ceasefire on Jan. 12.

In its statement, the GNA welcomed the ceasefire call from Istanbul and blamed Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) for starting the war.

UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame also welcomed calls for a ceasefire by a number of countries and international and regional organizations, the most recent of which was the initiative of the Turkish and Russian presidents.

Salame urged international and Libyan parties to respond positively to these calls and cease all military operations across Libya immediately in order to spare the country further bloodshed and provide relief to its people who are suffering the woes of this war.

In his statement, he encouraged the international community, especially countries concerned with the Libyan crisis, to seize the current momentum and push the Berlin Process forward in order to reach an international consensus.

The success of the Berlin Process will secure an international umbrella to provide support and protection for the three-track intra-Libyan process, launched by United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and aimed at addressing the Libyan crisis in all its aspects, economic and financial, military and security, and political.

Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum and Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio also welcomed a ceasefire in Libya and a resumption of the political process to achieve a peaceful solution.

"We want the negotiations to start among all Libyans in light of respecting the international law and with the cooperation and support of the international community, especially the neighboring countries," Boukadoum said.

Di Maio said he stood by the wish of countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Belgium and Algeria to stop the war among Libyans. "All agree to a ceasefire," he said. "Now everyone should sit at one table to find the appropriate solution to this crisis.”

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry reiterated his country's rejection of any form of foreign military interference in Libya during a meeting with his Algerian counterpart, Sabri Boukadoum, in Algiers on Thursday.

"Shoukry carries a message from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune," said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.

The visit comes one day after the call by foreign ministers of Egypt, France, Greece, and Cyprus to return to the “political process” in Libya and push the Berlin Process forward.

Boukadoum and Shoukry discussed Egyptian-Algerian bilateral relations as well as ways to boost cooperation and coordination in addition to addressing issues of mutual concern.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday that resolving the crisis in Libya is a real priority for France and the Middle East region.

Speaking to reporters after meeting in Tunis with Tunisian President Kais Saied, Le Drian said: "The stability of Libya is real priority for our two countries.

France, like Tunisia, supports Salame's efforts to consolidate the international consensus at the Berlin conference soon to find solutions to the Libyan crisis.

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