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Wednesday, 25 November 2020

No results so far in Geneva peace talks on Libya: LNA’s Spokesperson

Libyan National Army says 'excluding Turkey from the Libyan scene is a priority' to ensure that peace talks will be successful

Reem El-Sabaa , Tuesday 20 Oct 2020
Geneva, Switzerland
A general view of the talks between the rival factions in the Libya conflict at the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland October 20, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
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The spokesperson of the Libyan National Army (LNA) said on Tuesday that peace talks in Geneva between parties to the Libyan conflict produced no results so far.

Speaking to Al-Arabiya, Ahmed Al-Mesmari said that “excluding Turkey from the Libyan scene is a priority” to ensure that peace talks will be successful.

Turkey has been backing theTripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) with thousands of Syrian mercenaries, Turkish troops and logistics, and has a military base at Al-Watiya in northwest Libya. Between them, they control western and north-western Libya.

At the beginning of the Geneva talks, UN special representative on Libya Stephanie Williams said that its success would positively affect the political and economic tracks of the peace process. Discussions in Geneva will likely focus on security and military affairs.

Talks in Geneva will be followed with meetings by the so-called Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in Tunisia in early November, which seeks to “generate consensus on a unified governance framework, and arrangements that will lead to the holding of national elections in the shortest possible timeframe in order to restore Libya’s sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of Libyan institutions.”

The meetings will be both virtual— beginning on 26 October—and face-to-face. Williams praised Tunisia for hosting the face-to-face meetings amid the “ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and online in order to protect the health of the participants”.

The Geneva meetings represent a new round of UN-backed peace negotiations for Libya after those held in Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Hurghada and Morocco’s coastal town of Bouznika, south of the capital Rabat in September.

In Morocco, parties to the Libyan conflict agreed on the "criteria, transparent mechanisms, and objectives" for key power positions.

Negotiations in Hurghada saw an agreement between the Libyan parties to work on the release of all prisoners, protect the North African state’s oil and gas facilities and completely resume production and export activities.

Libya has been divided between two authorities in Tripoli and Tobruk for six years. While the GNA is based in Tripoli, the capital, Khalifa Haftar's LNA controls the east and is allied to the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.

The LNA is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, France, and Russia; while the GNA is backed by Turkey and Qatar.

The two warring parties agreed to hold elections in March 2021.

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