Haftar to take 2 more days to discuss deal; Berlin talks on January 19
LIBYA DRAFT UNDER CONSIDERATION; MEETING IN BERLIN ON JANUARY 19
Russia’s Defence Ministry said yesterday that Khalifa Haftar, commander of forces in eastern Libya, had been positive about a ceasefire deal drafted at talks in Moscow and is taking two days to discuss it, the Interfax news agency reported.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said the readiness of parties in the Libyan conflict to support a ceasefire had created a positive atmosphere, Interfax reported, amid a diplomatic push to stabilise the situation there.
The deal was proposed by Russia and Turkey in an effort to bring an end to the north African country’s long-running civil war.
Fayez Sarraj, the head of Libya’s government in Tripoli, and Haftar came to Moscow on Monday for talks with top diplomats and military officials from Russia and Turkey. The talks lasted about seven hours, though Sarraj and Haftar didn’t meet directly.
They considered a draft document spelling out details of a truce proposed jointly by Russia and Turkey that began Sunday. Sarraj signed the draft before departing, while Haftar requested more time to consider it and then left Moscow without signing the document. In Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to teach Haftar “the lesson he deserves” if attacks on the Tripoli government continued.
Addressing his ruling party’s legislators, Erdogan praised Sarraj, saying he had displayed “an extremely constructive and compromising” stance during the talks in Moscow.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited government and state leaders to a Libya conference in Berlin for January 19.
Russian government adviser Vitaly Naumkin said Haftar’s rejection of the deal “is not a total collapse”. Both sides are interested in going to an international conference on Libya on Sunday “with as strong a position as possible”, state news service RIA Novosti cited him as saying.