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  • Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar shakes hands with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu before talks in Moscow, Russia January 13, 2020.

    Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar shakes hands with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu before talks in Moscow, Russia January 13, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 January 2020

The head of the United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord signed a draft ceasefire agreement, while General Kalifa Haftar who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA) requested more time to consider it.

Talks between Libya’s warring factions, aimed at agreeing an unconditional and open-ended ceasefire failed to achieve a breakthrough Monday despite making good progress, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

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The head of the United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj signed a draft ceasefire agreement, while General Kalifa Haftar who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA) requested more time to consider it. Talks were adjourned for a later time. 

"They have a positive view of the document and asked for extra time until the next morning to decide," Lavrov said, adding that he hopes “they will make a positive decision. Russian and Turkish representatives will continue to offer their assistance."

The temporary truce was proposed on Jan. 8 by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan, who back opposing sides in the Libyan conflict. 

Both nations called on all parties in Libya to "declare a sustainable ceasefire, supported by the necessary measures to be taken for stabilizing the situation on the ground and normalizing daily life in Tripoli and other cities."

The LNA, which is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), France and Russia, has been fighting off a months-long offensive and currently over Tripoli which is the last stronghold of al Sarraj’s GNA, which is backed by Turkey, Qatar, and Italy.

The U.N. recognized government recently asked Turkey for military aid, and after validation by the parliament, Ankara started sending military personnel on Jan. 5; a move that Russia rejected.

Last month, the GNA warned Libya's neighbors of severe consequences if Haftar was to take Tripoli.

"If Tripoli falls, Tunis and Algiers will fall in turn. This is an attempt to sow chaos in the region and exercise control over North Africa," Fathi Bashagha, the GNA's interior minister, said.

According to the U.N., more than 280 civilians and about 2,000 fighters have been killed and 146,000 Libyans displaced since Haftar launched his assault to seize the capital.

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