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Russia lauds 'little step forward' made on Libya

Russia lauds 'little step forward' made on Libya
Sergey Lavrov praises Libyan sides' agreement in Berlin to send 5 representatives each to military committee on cease-fire

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) - The Libyan sides took "a little step forward" at the Berlin conference on Sunday by agreeing to send five representatives from each side to a UN-initiated military committee to address a cease-fire, said Russia’s foreign minister on Sunday.

Speaking to Russian reporters in Berlin, the site of Sunday’s Libya conference, Sergey Lavrov said the participants of the committee would work on "concrete measures aiming to strengthen trust which will allow the cease-fire to be sustainable."

He also praised the pledge by “external players" not to push the Libyan sides to resume hostilities.

"The Libyan sides took a small step forward compared to the meeting that took place in Moscow” last week, Lavrov said.

“They agreed to delegate five representatives to the UN-initiated military committee, which will consider all issues related to ensuring a truce. The external players promised not to encourage the parties to resume hostilities and will motivate them to consolidate and strengthen the truce."

On Russia's contribution to the Berlin conference, Lavrov said Moscow had taken part in preparing the conference from the very beginning.

Moscow insisted on holding the conference with the participation of Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar, required the participation of some of Libya's neighboring countries, and stood for mentioning related UN resolutions in the final document, including the impossibility of a military resolution and organizing a peace process by the Libyans themselves without external interference, he added.

"We managed to set up the final document in such a way that everything that needs to be accepted must be approved by the Libyan parties. The role of the Security Council, for consideration of which the document will be presented, is highlighted,” he explained.

“It will examine it and express its attitude. President [Vladimir] Putin outlined our position and stressed that when considering the recommendations we will take into account the opinion of the Libyans and before the Security Council begins its work at the document, such an opinion must be stated."

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar’s in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

On Jan. 12, the warring sides of the Libyan conflict announced a cease-fire in response to a call by Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Last Monday, the sides in the Libyan conflict met in Moscow to discuss a cease-fire meant to end the hostilities in Libya and start a political dialogue, but while al-Sarraj signed the deal, Haftar refused and left the meeting.

source: News Feed
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