Moscow ceasefire talks: Libya’s GNA signs agreement, Haftar pushes it till Tuesday morning
Libya’s warring leaders made some progress at indirect peace talks in Moscow on Monday but failed to agree on an unconditional and open-ended ceasefire.
In talks that lasted about eight hours, mediators Russia and Turkey urged the rivals to sign a binding truce to end a nine-month-old war and pave the way for a settlement that would stabilise the North African country.
Fayez al-Serraj, who heads Libya’s Tripoli-based internationally recognised government, signed the ceasefire agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Khalifa Haftar, commander of the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) faction that has been trying to take the capital Tripoli, had asked for more time to consider the ceasefire.
“Today we can report that some progress was made,” Lavrov told reporters at the elegant 19th century Moscow mansion where the talks were held.
Cavusoglu told reporters Haftar wanted to have until Tuesday morning to make up his mind.
Russia’s TASS news agency reported that Serraj had refused to engage in direct talks with Haftar, forcing Russian and Turkish diplomats to act as go-betweens.
The Moscow talks come after a ceasefire, initiated by Turkey and Russia, saw a lull in heavy fighting and air strikes on Sunday, though both factions accused each other of violating that truce as skirmishes continued around Tripoli.