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The UN says that political contacts between the parties in Libya will start on February 26 in Geneva

February 7, 2020

He affirms that the military-level conversations have allowed “progress”


The United Nations special envoy for Libya, Ghasán Salamé, said Thursday that the talks between the military delegations of both sides have allowed “progress” and announced that contacts at the political level will start on February 26 in Geneva.

The contact group, whose creation was agreed at the forum held in Berlin on January 19, has as its main mission to verify compliance with the truce to which the parties theoretically committed themselves. Both, however, violations of the agreement have been criticized in recent weeks.

The UN says that political contacts between the parties in Libya will start on February 26 in GenevaThe UN says that political contacts between the parties in Libya will start on February 26 in Geneva

The UN special envoy has stressed that this group “is one of the three routes” that are trying to organize to promote a peace process, before adding that the economic and financial route “will take its second step” on 9 February – after the meeting in Cairo on January 6 – and that the policy “will open on February 26” in Geneva.

Salamé has indicated that “the political route is late because it is still waiting for the two chambers to select their representatives” and has confirmed that the military delegations are not maintaining direct contacts, but through it.

“We have not pressed for a common meeting and the two sides have not demanded it,” said the special envoy, who added that “there is no problem with it.” “I have not come to Geneva to take a picture with two people shaking hands … My goal is to reach an agreement,” he argued.

“I would like to say that I am very pleased to see a clear national spirit inspiring both delegations,” he said, before stressing that there has been “progress” in “many important issues.” “We have before us a significant number of convergence points,” he added.

Salamé said that, despite these advances, there is still work to “refine the initial draft” and “reduce the differences in a few points of divergence” existing, while emphasizing that progress is being made due to the “sense of urgency” about the need to turn the truce “into a permanent and permanent ceasefire”.

In this regard, he pointed out that “negotiators would be helped if there were more calm on the fronts and there were no provocative acts of a military nature by any of the parties to the conflict.”

He has also argued that it is “a pure dialogue between Libyans” to “translate the truce accepted by the two sides on January 12 into a lasting ceasefire”, before adding that the talks revolve around issues such as heavy armament, internally displaced persons, the return of civilians to areas that are currently part of the front, the management of armed groups and the ceasefire supervision process.

“The joint military commission will be involved in the supervision of the ceasefire under the auspices of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL),” said Salamé, who said “this is acceptable to both parties.” “The details of the ceasefire on the ground are being discussed,” he added.

On the other hand, he has again criticized that “many countries present at the Berlin conference pledged to have a more honest respect for the ceasefire and have not done so.” “We have evidence that both sides have benefited from new arms arrivals, new types of weapons and ammunition and new foreign recruits or fighters,” he said.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, said Tuesday of “scandal” violations of the truce, while stressing that he is “deeply frustrated” by the situation.

“We had a number of countries that gathered in Berlin and promised not to interfere in the Libyan process and not to send weapons or participate in any way in the fighting,” he said, before reiterating that “the truth is that the embargo ( of arms) of the Security Council (of the UN) continues to be violated. ”

The UN envoy has also had words to criticize the blockade of oil ports by forces loyal to Field Marshal Jalifa Haftar, loyal to the authorities settled in the east of the country, and stressed that “the country lives on oil and gas exports. ”

“This is not a healthy situation, since all Libyans, the entire Libyan population, are not helped by the detention of exports,” he said, while adding that “this will be one of the main points of the agenda “during meetings of economic delegations on Sunday.

Finally, Salamé also stressed that he hopes that there may be an agreement before delegations leave Geneva, although the draft that has been agreed must be sent to Libya for political leaders to debate. “If we achieve a solid agreement, it would be a very, very good step forward,” he added.

Libya lives in chaos since the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in 2011. Today, the government of unity, headed by Fayez Serraj and based in Tripoli, and another administration established in the east that has been disputed The main bastion of the military capacity of the Haftar forces, which in April 2019 launched an offensive on the capital.

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