Expert comments on results of inter-Libyan talks in Moscow

Unsigned by the Head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the ceasefire agreement with the Government of National Accord, Fayez Sarraj, leaves the situation in the country suspended, probably Haftar still hopes to resolve the conflict in the country by military means, said the Head of the RISI Center for Near and Middle East Vladimir Fitin.

An informed Libyan source previously reported that the Head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Marshal Khalifa Haftar, left Moscow without signing the ceasefire agreement with the Tripoli government Fayez Sarraj.

“Virtually, it is already a big shift that it was possible to achieve at least a direct meeting in Moscow, but the fact that Haftar did not sign the agreement apparently shows that he still continues to hope that he can solve the issue by military means and take Tripoli, despite the fact that he has not been able to do this since April last year, and despite all his optimistic statements. Therefore, the situation remains frozen”, – he told the reporters.

The expert recalled that there were already many attempts to achieve a settlement of the situation in Libya, and they were accepted by a variety of forces, including Europeans and the United States, but were unsuccessful due to the conflicting positions and views of the opposing sides.

As Fitin noted, after Haftar did not sign the agreement with Sarraj, it is difficult to assess the likelihood of holding a conference on Libya in Berlin, as previously reported. The representative of the German government, Steffen Seibert, previously announced plans to hold an international conference on Libya in Berlin on January 19, but the date has not yet been officially approved. At the same time, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already announced that he will visit the German capital on this day.

“With regard to the possible conference in Germany, it is difficult to say after the failure of the signing of the agreement in Moscow whether it will be possible to hold it in January this year, as it was previously planned”, – Fitin said.

The expert added that attempts to hold meetings to resolve the Libyan settlement issue will continue, as many players are interested in this, including Russia.

“Apparently, all the parties are concerned, and they would all like to see a ceasefire in Libya, such attempts (meetings – ed.) will continue. Moreover, coordination of efforts of many countries is evident. This is also evidenced by the constant contacts of the Russian side, and the Russian president with his European counterparts, as well as with major regional forces, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar”, – Fitin said.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the final document at the talks in Moscow was signed by several parties to the conflict in Libya, but Haftar asked for additional time. The main issues of the negotiations held in Moscow on Monday were the parameters and the possibility of signing an armistice agreement.

After the overthrow and assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya virtually ceased to function as a single state. Dual power reigns in the country now. The parliament elected by the people sits in the east, and in the west, in the capital Tripoli, the Government of National Accord (PNS) Fayez Sarraj formed with the support of the UN and the European Union rules. The authorities of the eastern part of the country operate independently of Tripoli and cooperate with the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftar.