The Libyan National Army (LNA) is ready to sign the immediate ceasefire treaty, but the government in Tripoli is unwilling to do so, as it counts on the military solution, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday following the videoconference with his counterparts from the African Union trio (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt and South Africa).
"At some stage, when we invited the main protagonists, gentlemen [Khalifa] Haftar, [Fayez] Sarraj, [Aguila] Saleh, in January this year ahead of the Berlin conference — the Libyan National Army thought its positions on the ground to be more favorable and was not ready to sign a document that Sarraj considered acceptable. Now, the LNA, according to our assessments, is ready to sign such a document on immediate ceasefire, but this time it is the Tripoli government who does not want to do it, counting on the military solution," he said.
The foreign minister expressed his regret that although all sides declare that there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict, this does not translate into practical steps, TASS reports.
US tries to hinder appointment of new UN envoy to Libya
The US actions give the impression of efforts to interfere with the designation of a new UN special representative in Libya, Russia's top diplomat stated.
"It’s been half a year already that the UN secretary-general cannot appoint a new special representative in Libya. Both Algeria’s foreign minister and the former head of Ghana’s Foreign Ministry were nominated but the US refused to support them. The impression is that our American colleagues are trying to sideline Mr. Secretary-General Guterres," he said.
The top diplomat noted that currently the acting special representative in Libya is US citizen Stephanie Williams. "It wouldn’t do for the US to 'hold down' the UN Secretariat, hindering the appointment of a special envoy counting on their fellow countrywoman to deal with some issues unclear to us," Lavrov stressed.
Libya has had two parallel executive power structures for a long while now. The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez al-Sarraj and the interim government operating in the country’s east together with the parliament and supported by the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Commander Khalifa Haftar. Over a year ago the opposing parties began fighting for the capital city after on April 4, 2019 Haftar attacked the capital in order to rid it of terrorists, as he claimed.
The Tripoli Cabinet of Ministers in turn mobilized all loyal military formations and officially asked Turkey for help based on a joint memorandum on military cooperation signed in November 2019. Currently, thanks to Ankara’s active assistance, the GNA managed to regain control over several territories previously occupied by the LNA.