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Libya strongman Haftar backs ceasefire, El-Sisi said

Libya strongman Haftar backs ceasefire, El-Sisi said

Speaking at a press conference following the negotiation with the Khalifa Haftar, the Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said the Libyan strongman to launch a political initiative to resolve the conflict in Libya.

General Khalifa Haftar has backed a ceasefire in Libya starting on Monday, El-Sisi announced after the one round of negotiations took place in Cairo. The strongman’s decision comes timely, following a series of military victories by Libya’s UN-recognised government.

“This initiative calls for respecting all international efforts and initiatives by declaring a ceasefire from 0600 Monday June 8, 2020,” Mr Fattah al-Sisi told briefing alongside Haftar.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi declared the initiative at a ceremony in Cairo attended by military commander Khalifa Haftar and Aguila Saleh, speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.

However, there was no immediate comment from the UN-supported government in the capital, Tripoli.

Ceasefire in Libya starts on Monday: El-Sisi

The initiative calls for a cease-fire in Libya as of June 8. El-Sisi also called for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters in Libya. For war-torn country, such a pause is really precious gift, especially for the humanitarian organizations like UN bodies and ICRC.

Saleh had arrived in Cairo on Friday for talks with Egyptian officials amid ongoing disputes with Haftar, who arrived in the Egyptian capital two days earlier. Libya’s internationally recognized government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019.

On Saturday, the Egyptian leader has announced an initiative to end the civil war in neighbouring Libya, a move accepted by the commander of the eastern Libyan forces that had suffered heavy defeats in recent weeks.

According to El-Sisi, a cease-fire starting Monday should pave the way for elections in oil-rich Libya.

Now, Haftar’s east-based Libyan Arab Armed Forces had launched an offensive last year to capture Tripoli. But the strongman recently lost several strategic spots in western Libya after Turkey increased its support to an array of militias loosely allied with the Tripoli-based government.

Over almost ten years, Libya is in turmoil after Moammar Gadhafi’s killing in 2011. The oil-rich nation has split between rival administrations in the east and the west, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.