CAIRO (Sputnik) – Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar confirmed that his side will take part in the upcoming 5+5 military commission talks in Geneva, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said Saturday.
“SRSG [Special Representative to the Secretary-General] @GhassanSalame … met today in Rajma with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who confirmed LNA’s participation in the Joint Military Commission (5+5) talks, expected to start soon in Geneva”, the UNSMIL announced late on Saturday via their Twitter account.
The purpose of the military committee is to negotiate a full ceasefire in Libya between the warring GNA and LNA. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres previously counted on convening a meeting of the military commission in Geneva on 28 January, but this did not happen.
The situation in conflict-hit Libya remains tense. Libya is still gripped by the confrontation between the Tripoli-based government and the eastern administration, backed by Khalifa Haftar’s army.
The situation is apparently exacerbated by the presence of foreign forces in Libya. After the Berlin conference, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to maintain a military presence in Libya to support the internationally-recognized Government of GNA in the fight against the rival administration protected by the LNA.
Turkey has repeatedly said it stands ready to send troops to train and assist the GNA – a pledge that was facilitated into action by Erdogan signing a memorandum on security and military cooperation with GNA leader Fayez Sarraj in November.
Erdogan has said the Berlin conference communique was void because it lacked the signature of the head of LNA’s head Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar declared earlier a general mobilization to resist foreign intervention. The Moscow talks that were held earlier this month failed to produce a ceasefire in the conflict-torn country, as Haftar refused to sign a draft agreement, abruptly leaving the negotiations.