Global welcome to ceasefire in Libya


Sun, 25 Oct 2020 - 11:41 GMT

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 . Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS

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 . Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS

CAIRO - 25 October 2020: The ceasefire agreement between the two parties to the conflict in Libya, which entered into force Friday, October 23, was recieved with a remarkable global welcome.
This agreement came as a result of the continuous efforts led by the Egyptian state to reduce tension inside the Libyan territories and achieve peace and security for the Libyan people.
The ceasefire agreement was signed between the delegations of the Military Committee at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in the presence of the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-general of the United Nations and the Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya Stephanie Williams.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya considered this achievement an important turn point towards achieving peace and stability in Libya.
Williams said that this moment would go down in history as a moment of courage for the Libyan parties that participated in the talks and took concrete steps to reach an agreement that provides a better, safer and more peaceful future for Libyans.
Williams pointed out that the road to the agreement was arduous, but the Libyans have succeeded in overcoming all obstacles.
She stressed the significance of the achievement of a comprehensive settlement to the long-term crisis, adding: "We have weeks to implement the outcomes of this agreement and alleviate the difficulties that have arisen for the Libyan people."
Regarding the issue of the mercenaries' departure, she explained that the two parties agreed during the first two rounds of the 5 + 5 security committee negotiations on the necessity of the departure of all fighters and mercenaries within 90 days after the formation of the unified government.
Williams revealed that the Libyan parties have already reached confidence-building measures between them.
The Cairo meetings in Hurghada and the six military meetings that were held in Cairo during the years 2017 and 2018 paved the way for the signing of the ceasefire agreement in the Swiss city of Geneva.
"Egypt welcomed the permanent ceasefire agreement in Libya," said Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Hafez in a statement.
“The success achieved today came as a continuation of the first face-to-face meeting hosted by Egypt in Hurghada late September,” Hafez said, urging the countries involved in the Libyan affairs to contribute to the effort of ensuring the ceasefire.
Hafez expressed Egypt's aspiration to support the political efforts exerted by the UN envoy to Libya to achieve the main goal.
In a statement, Head of the Government of National Accord(GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, praised the role of the United Nations Mission in Libya in reaching this agreement to achieve peace based on justice and guarantee the elimination of war and unrest.
In turn,  Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, praised the signing, describing it as a great national step towards security and stability in Libya.
In this regard, he also commended the courage and high patriotic spirit shown by the leaders of the Government of National Accord and the National Army and their delegations in the negotiations, and expressed his great appreciation for the pivotal role played by the United Nations Mission in Libya led by Stephanie Williams, to sponsor and facilitate the rounds of negotiations that took place between the two sides. 
An official source in the League’s General Secretariat stated that Aboul Gheit renewed the Arab League’s full commitment to support every effort aimed at reaching a purely national and integrated political settlement of the situation in Libya, away from foreign interference and the threat of armed militias.
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, considered the cease-fire agreement reached by the two parties to the Libyan conflict in Geneva, "an essential step towards peace and stability" in the country.
"Many have suffered from the conflict for a very long time," he added at a press conference, expressing his regret at the killing of civilians due to the clashes.
The American administration welcomed the permanent ceasefire agreement as it considered this agreement a big step forward towards achieving the common interests of all Libyans, reducing escalation, and the departure of foreign fighters.
As for Germany, which is acting as a mediator in the search for a political settlement to the conflict in Libya, it described the permanent ceasefire agreement as "the first significant success" in this direction.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement that the ongoing negotiations "lead to the first significant success," considering them "a good basis for achieving a future political solution."
For its part, the European Commission welcomed the declaration of the ceasefire in Libya and called for its implementation and the resumption of peace talks.
"The permanent ceasefire agreement is essential for the resumption of political dialogue," European Union foreign policy spokesman Peter Stano informed reporters, stressing that "it is very significant that this agreement be implemented."
Libya has suffered a severe division between two factions; the Libyan Parliament and the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in the east; and the GNA led by Fayez al-Sarraj. The latter is internationally recognized but is not accepted by the Parliament.
Hundreds were killed in continuous battles between the LNA and the forces of the GNA, over the recent year.
Previously, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with LAAF head, Commander Khalifa Haftar, and Libyan Parliamentary Speaker Aguila Salehin Cairo, to discuss ways to resolve the Libyan crisis. Both Libyan officials emphasized that any initiative to solve the crisis in the war-torn country has to include “the removal of Turkish-backed mercenaries and militias.”
It is worth mentioning that GNA Head Fayez al-Sarraj announced earlier in September his intention to resign by the end of October.
In late August, both Saleh and Sarraj announced in two separate statements that they had agreed on a Libya-wide ceasefire.



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