Will Germany Get a Piece of Libya? Saraj and Hafter Agree to Berlin Peace Talks

BERLIN – The commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has agreed to attend the Berlin Conference on the Settlement of the Armed Conflict and the Political Crisis in Libya. According to Al-Arabiya TV channel today, January 16, the Libyan military leader announced his decision to the German authorities. Berlin has confirmed that such a meeting has been established.

A conference with representatives from Russia and the United States will be held  Sunday January 19th at the office of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. Earlier, Faiz Saraj, the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya, announced his intention to participate in the diplomatic summit as well. Representatives of Great Britain, France, Italy, China, Turkey, Egypt, other countries of Africa and the Middle East are expected to participate in the Berlin Conference on Libya.

Berlin’s primary concern is that the EU has serious divisions over Libya, with numerous EU states backing opposing parties in Libya’s civil war.

Khalifa Haftar, who had previously left Moscow without signing a ceasefire agreement with the GNA and Saraj, said that the proposed version of the document ignored a number of demands put forward by the LNA. “The project (cessation of hostilities. –  Ed .) Ignores many of the demands of the Libyan (national) army,” Al-Arabiya television quoted Haftar as saying.

Faiz Saraj on January 13 signed a ceasefire agreement following the six-hour talks in Moscow. In the evening of the same day, Khalifa Haftar asked for time until Tuesday morning to make a decision, but did not sign the document and left the Russian capital in the early morning. After his departure south of Tripoli, clashes between the LNA and GNA formations resumed.

Recall that in Libya, after nine months of fighting, the LNA under the command of Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the GNA, led by Faiz Saraj, previously agreed to a truce, which formally entered into force at midnight on Sunday, January 12. Following the results of negotiations in Istanbul on January 8, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adopted a joint statement, which, in particular, called on the warring parties in Libya to declare a truce.

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