Russia: Ceasefire in Libya depends on Haftar

Lev Dengov – Head of Russian Contact Group on Libya (Left) and Khalifa Haftar – Commander of self-styled army in eastern Libya (Right)

The beginning of the ceasefire in Libya depends on Khalifa Haftar as he initiated the assault, a Russian diplomat said Thursday.

Russia works to ensure all sides of the Libyan conflict will accept the suggestion of a cease-fire made Wednesday by Russian and Turkish presidents, said Lev Dengov, the head of the Russian contact group on intra-Libyan settlement.

“After the meeting of the Russian and Turkish leaders, the west of Libya recognized that Russia is a friend and reliable partner that achieves its goals,” said Dengov.

“Put an end to rumors that Russia allegedly supports one of the parties to the conflict in Libya. The main and true goal of our country today is the search for a peaceful settlement, and this has been confirmed by all parties to the conflict. Now it will be much easier for us to work in these conditions, and it will be easier to reach a peaceful settlement in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and friendship.”

Turkish and Russian leaders, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, respectively, urged a cease-fire in Libya in a joint statement following a meeting in Istanbul and reaffirmed their “strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya.”

On April 4, Haftar, who commands forces based in eastern Libya, launched an offensive to capture Tripoli from the country’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

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