Foreign Powers, Int’l Mediators Welcome Fragile Libyan Cease-Fire
Several foreign governments involved in the bloody nine-year Libyan conflict, as well as international bodies such as the United Nations and the European Union, issued enthusiastic statements of support over the weekend following talks of truce emanating from Tripoli. UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the rare calls for peace and expressed his hope that they would “be respected immediately by armed forces from both sides.” The EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell hailed the “positive news coming from Libya,” as did German and American diplomats. Yet perhaps more importantly, global forces directly invested in the conflict, including the Egyptian and United Arab Emirates’ governments, encouraged the tentative agreement for an armistice. On Friday, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, supported diplomatically by the UN and militarily by Turkish mercenaries, announced it would hold its fire in an attempt to implement a peaceful solution to the ongoing civil war and hold democratic elections. Its rival, the eastern government allied with renegade general Khalifa Haftar, accepted the proposal to demilitarize the port city of Sirte, considered the gateway to Libya’s oil hub and currently held by Haftar’s forces. The general’s forces themselves, the self-styled Libyan National Army backed by Russian, Egyptian and UAE troops, have yet to commit to the cease-fire. But with their government and foreign allies supporting the calls for peace, a halting of hostilities, at least temporarily, seems on the horizon.