UN envoy to Libya: Geneva talks made progress, but no definite agreement on ceasefire

UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame. [UNSMIL]
The UN envoy in Libya said Thursday the country’s warring sides are working to turn a provisional ceasefire into a formal agreement as they emerged from four days of talks, a prospect that appears to face steep obstacles.

Ghassan Salame, head of the United Nations support mission in Libya, said rival military leaders are negotiating the remaining sticking points in a cease-fire deal.

Those include the return of internally displaced people, the disarmament of armed groups and ways to monitor a truce, which each side has accused the other of violating.

He said the ceasefire would be monitored by the military representatives in Geneva with support from the U.N. Mission in Libya.

Another unresolved issue, he said, is how to deal with heavy weaponry, which powerful foreign backers continue sending to Libya, despite their pledges not to at a high-profile summit last month in Berlin.

“There are still two or three points of divergence,” Salame told reporters in Geneva on Thursday, adding that delegates will reconvene Friday to discuss the latest draft. That agreement must then be sent back to their respective leaders for approval.

The latest round of fighting in oil-rich Libya erupted last April when eastern-based forces under the command of Khalifa Hifter laid siege to Tripoli in a bid to wrest power from the U.N.-backed government led by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.

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