Foreign Powers Back Libya Cease-fire as Haftar’s Forces Block Oil Production
Heads of state and senior officials from Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Russia, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, and the US gathered in Berlin on Sunday for a summit on the future of war-torn Libya. They agreed to strengthen an existing truce and work for a permanent cease-fire to allow a political process to take place. A committee made up of five military officials from the internationally recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and five from the self-styled Libyan National Army under the command of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar will monitor the truce. The foreign powers also agreed to uphold a UN arms embargo to the country. Haftar, whose forces control the eastern portion of the country, with the support of Egypt, the UAE, Russian mercenaries and African troops, also attended the Berlin summit, though he and Serraj did not meet. He walked out of cease-fire talks last week. Meanwhile, his forces have ordered the shutdown of oilfields, pipelines and ports in areas under their control –a move that could cripple the country’s oil-based economy. Turkey is rushing troops to the area to prop up the Serraj government. The shaky truce has not put a total stop to the violent conflict; there has been a lull in fighting over the past 10 days but there were still reports of heavy artillery fire south of the capital, Tripoli, late on Sunday.
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