UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS FROM CAVUSOGLU, LAVROV, AND ADDS POINTS FROM DRAFT TEXT
By Elena Teslova and Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
MOSCOW / ANKARA (AA) - Turkey’s foreign minister said Monday that a draft text on a possible cease-fire in Libya had emerged during talks in Moscow.
"We made out a draft text containing the modalities of a possible cease-fire," Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint press briefing with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
Cavusoglu said Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar had requested time until morning to consider the cease-fire deal, the Russian side told the Turkish side.
He said that Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and Khalid al-Mishri, chairman of the High Council of State of Libya, had signed the document and handed it to the Turkish side.
Cavusoglu said if Haftar side signs the document tomorrow morning, the two sides will have realized on paper their oral promise of a cease-fire in the wake of a call by the Turkish and Russian presidents.
"Then we will continue working with Russia to maintain the cease-fire and accelerate the political process, including the UN and Berlin processes," he added.
Lavrov, for his part, characterized the talks as “intensive consultations” aiming to clarify issues related to the cease-fire.
“In the morning, intensive consultations are taking place with the participation of the Libyan parties, with the support of the foreign and defense ministers of the Turkish Republic and the Russian Federation.
“We were considering a document that will allow us to specify issues related to the ceasefire regime, and the cease-fire, as you know, was announced at 00.00 on Sunday in response to the call of presidents [Vladimir] Putin and [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, which is a part of their joint statement adopted on Jan. 8 in Istanbul,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov added that the draft of a final document of today's meeting had been examined in detail and was the subject of “quite serious negotiations.”
“Today we can report that some progress has been made, and the chairman of the Government of National Accord of Libya, Mr. Sarraj, and the Head of the Libyan High Council of State (HCS), Mr. Al-Mishri, have just signed it.
“Marshal Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army, and the president of the House of Representatives in Tobruk, Mr. Aguila Saleh, view this document positively and asked for a little extra time, until the next morning, to decide on its signing, I hope this decision will be positive,” Lavrov added.
-Provisions of draft deal
Turkish and Russian representatives will continue to assist the parties in implementing the agreements that are currently being negotiated, he said.
According to the draft document, the sides will undertake to observe the truce regime without preconditions.
They also agree to create a special commission charged with the task of determining the contact line and the mechanism for monitoring it.
They also vow to abandon any offensive actions against each other and to take measures to stabilize the situation in the capital Tripoli and other areas.
On Jan. 12, the warring sides in the Libyan conflict announced a cease-fire in response to a call by Turkish President Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Putin.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.