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Libya peace talks in Moscow stall

EPA-EFE/TURKISH PRESIDENT PRESS OFFICE
A handout photo made available by the Turkish President's Press Office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) with Lybia's prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj (L) during their meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, 12 January 2020.

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Libya’s opposed leaders failed to agree on a ceasefire to end the war over the capital Tripoli.

The peace talks in Moscow on 13 January lasted eight hours. Mediators Russia, who supports commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libya National Army (LNA), and Turkey, who supports Libya’s Tripoli-based UN- recognized government (GNA), urged the rivals to sign a truce.

The deal was signed by Fayez al-Serraj, leader of the GNA which has struggled to defend itself against an offensive by the LNA. However, Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Haftar had asked for more time to decide. Sources close to the force said Haftar had already left Moscow and that he will not sign the proposal.

“Today we can report that some progress was made”, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his country was working to ensure a ceasefire in Libya becomes permanent. He has also warned his country would “teach a lesson” to Haftar if he resumed his attacks on GNA forces.

After talks with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, German chancellor Angela Merkel said she planned to host a peace summit in Berlin, which was also proposed by Erdogan.

Libya has been in conflict since the 2011 toppling of long-time strongman Muammar Gaddafi. According to the United Nations, tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the conflict.

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