Libya’s GNA suspends participation in UN-led Geneva talks after Haftar’s attack on Tripoli port
Libya’s Government of National Accord has announced it is halting its participation in U.N. talks, citing repeated violations of the truce by Khalifa Haftar’s forces and urging the international community to take firm actions against the aggressor.
The pull-out came after a barrage of rocket fire hit a port in the capital Tripoli – the target of a months-long operation by Khalifa Haftar to oust the Government of National Accord (GNA).
“We are announcing the suspension of our participation in the military talks taking place in Geneva until firm positions are adopted against the aggressor (Haftar) and his violations” of the truce, the GNA said late Tuesday.
“Without a lasting ceasefire … negotiations make no sense. There can be no peace under the bombing,” it added.
The port strikes were the latest violation of a tenuous truce that came into effect in January, brokered by Russia, which supports Haftar, and Turkey, which supports the U.N.-recognised government in Tripoli.
“It is clear the objective of the systematic bombardments of the residential areas, the airport, and the port, in addition to the total blockage of the oil installations, is to provoke crises for the citizens in all the aspects of their life,” the GNA statement said.
It added that Haftar’s forces were “trying in vain” to destabilize the state, having failed to seize power.
U.N. Libya envoy Ghassan Salame had earlier on Tuesday launched a second round of talks in Geneva, with five senior officers from the GNA and five appointed by Haftar’s forces taking part.
A first round of talks ended with no result earlier this month but Salame said there was “more hope” this time, mainly because of the approval of a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a “lasting ceasefire”.
The U.N. Support Mission in Libya said in a statement on Wednesday that it hoped the talks could resume, condemning the attack by Haftar’s forces on the seaport in Tripoli.
“The Mission calls for an end to the escalation and provocative actions, especially expansion of the conflict area, and urges all parties to resort to dialogue as the only means to end the crisis,” it said.
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