Libya rivals sign ‘permanent ceasefire’ deal: Live news

Acting UN envoy Stephanie Williams says the ceasefire would start immediately and that under the agreement, all foreign fighters must quit Libya within three months.

The latest Libya talks come after the internationally recognised Government of National Accord in June beat back Khalifa Haftar's eastern-based self-styled Libyan National Army following its 14-month assault on the capital [File: Abdullah Doma/AFP]
  • Libya’s warring sides have signed an agreement for “a permanent ceasefire in all areas of Libya”, says the United Nations.
  • A commercial passenger plane flew from the Libyan capital Tripoli across front lines to the eastern city of Benghazi for the first time in more than a year.
  • The European Commission hailed the declaration of a ceasefire in Libya  and called for it go into immediate effect, while Turkey cast doubt on the credibility of the deal.

Turkey’s skepticism justified: Analyst

Jason pack, a fellow at the Middle East Institute and founder of risk consultancy Libya Analysis, said Turkey’s skepticism of the agreement is well-founded given the complexity of the conflict.

“Erdogan is a smart man, he understand that Libya is a multi-dimensional chess game so they’ve solved the lowest, most basic level of getting some actors who don’t have much power on the ground to say ‘we can’t win the war militarily’,” Pack said.

“They haven’t dealt with the underlying issues, the second and third degrees of the chess game, how revenues are to be divided, who’s to run the different semi-sovereign institutions, how do we have an interim period… all of that remains in abeyance because it hasn’t been discussed.”

Libya ceaefire ‘fundamental step toward peace’: UN chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that the ceasefire agreement reached between Libya’s warring sides on Friday was a “fundamental step toward peace and stability” in the country and that there was much hard work to be done.

“I appeal to all stakeholders and regional actors to respect the provisions of the ceasefire agreement and ensure its implementation without delay,” he told reporters as he called for full implementation of a 2011 UN arms embargo on Libya.

Russia keen on retaining influence in Libya

Al Jazeera’s Aleksandra Stojanovich-Godfroid, reporting from Moscow, said Russia has not yet officially weighed in on the ceasefire agreement signed between Libya’s warring sides but that it was adamant any accord reached must take into account its interests in the country and wider region.

“What we have is actually coming from the acting charge d’affaire of Russia in Libya who says Russia of course welcomes the ceasefire and hopes it will further lead to durable peace,” Stojanovich-Godfroid said.

“We know from Russia’s standpoint that any durable peace or solution for Libya should include all political parties that have influence on the ground in Libya, that means also supporters of former leader Muammar Gaddafi. They also say that oil revenue should be transparently and fairly distributed among Libyans.”

“Russia has an interest in Libya, they want to keep their influence there, maybe not to the extent that they had during Gaddafi’s rule but to be a player in North Africa.”

Libya ceasefire agreement ‘first ray of hope in a long time’: Germany

Germany on Friday has welcomed the ceasefire signed by Libya’s warring factions, describing the agreement as the “first ray of hope in a long time”.

“The ceasefire agreement finally promises a change of course from military to political logic,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement. “This news is the first ray of hope for the people of Libya in a long time.”

Libya ceasefire lacks credibility, says Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has questioned the viability of a permanent ceasefire signed between Libya’s two rival factions, one of whom is supported by Ankara.

“Today’s ceasefire agreement was actually not made at the highest level, it was at a lower level. Time will tell whether it will last,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul. “So it seems to me that it lacks credibility.”

Turkish President Erdogan has backed the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) since onset of the conflict [File: Murad Sezer/Reuters]

East Libya official expects Es Sider exports in coming days

An official in eastern Libya said that oil exports were expected to resume from Es Sider port within the coming days.

The official spoke after UN acting Libya envoy Stephanie Williams said there were good indications that the oil installations at Ras Lanuf and Es Sider ports would be ready to resume output “in a very short period of time”.

A view shows Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Processing Company in Ras Lanuf
The Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Processing Company in Ras Lanuf [File: Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters]


Observers say success of deal yet to be seen

Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed, reporting from Tripoli, said the success of the ceasefire deal pertains to many factors on the ground.

“We will wait and see if this agreement will be implemented on the ground given the fact that we have seen in the past deals being violated by both factions,” he said.

“This also pertains to the issues of foreign fighters and detainees on both sides,” Abdelwahed added.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from London, Sami Hamdi, Editor in The International Interest said: “I would caution anybody from having too much optimism in what the UN can bring [to Libya].”

He explained that Yemen’s warring sides had reached a similar UN-brokered deal in Stockholm before going back to fighting soon after.



First Tripoli-Benghazi flight for a year follows Libya talks

A commercial passenger plane flew from the Libyan capital Tripoli across front lines to the eastern city of Benghazi for the first time in more than a year after talks between the country’s warring parties in Geneva.

Flights between them had stopped in the summer of 2019 as shelling by Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) targeted Tripoli’s Mitiga airport.

The resumption of flights appeared to be part of the deal reached between Libya’s warring sides to agree on a permanent ceasefire.

Libya mitiga airport
On Tuesday the UNs acting Libya envoy Stephanie Williams said military representatives of the two sides meeting in the Swiss city had agreed to reopen land and air connections across the country [File: Mahmud Turkia/AFP]


EU hails Libya ceasefire, urges quick implementation

The European Commission welcomed the declaration of a ceasefire in Libya  and called for it go into immediate effect and for peace talks to resume.

“The agreement of a permanent ceasefire is key for the resumption of a political dialogue,” EU foreign policy spokesman Peter Sano told reporters.

“It’s very important, as well, to see this accord put into effect.”

Libya has been wracked by conflict for nearly a decade, since the overthrow and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi [File: AFP]

Mercenaries, foreign fighters to depart Libya within 3 months, says UN

All mercenaries and foreign fighters are supposed to depart from Libya within three months of the signing of the Libyan nationwide ceasefire on Friday, the United Nations envoy said.

Stephanie Williams, UN acting envoy for Libya, told a news conference on Friday after the ceasefire agreement signing in Geneva that there were “good indications that the oil installations of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider will be ready to resume production in the near future, in a very short period of time.”

UN says Libya sides reach ‘permanent ceasefire’ deal

Libya’s warring sides have signed an agreement for “a permanent ceasefire in all areas of Libya”, the United Nations Libya mission said in a Facebook post, showing live video of the ceremony to sign the agreement.

The UN on Friday said the two sides in the Libyan military talks have reached the “historic achievement” with a permanent ceasefire deal across the war-torn North African country.

The 5 + 5 Joint Military Commission talks in Geneva culminated in a historic achievement, said the UN [File: Violaine Martin/AFP]
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies