0655 GMT September 23, 2020
Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli announced the cease-fire on Friday and the leader of a rival parliament in eastern Libya also appealed for a halt to hostilities.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomes the calls for a cease-fire and an end to hostilities in Libya and hopes they “will be respected immediately by armed forces from both sides,” said the spokesperson for the UN chief, Stephane Dujarric, AP reported.
The UN chief urged the Joint Military Commission to quickly take up the cease-fire call and called on all parties “to engage constructively in an inclusive political process” based on the outcome of a conference of world leaders in Berlin in January, Dujarric said.
World powers and other countries with interests in Libya’s long-running civil war agreed at the meeting to respect a much-violated arms embargo, hold off on military support to the warring parties and push them to reach a full cease-fire.
UAE’s Foreign Ministry welcomed Saleh’s cease-fire initiative that did not include the demilitarization of Jurfa area, according the state-run WAM news agency.
The interior minister of the Tripoli-based administration, Fathi Bashaga, hailed the cease-fire initiative, saying on Twitter: “We are looking forward to develop cooperation with the US, Europe, Turkey, Egypt and the UN.”
Fayez Sarraj, head of the Government of National Accord in Tripoli, said an effective cease-fire requires “the demilitarization of Sirte and Jurfa areas, and that police forces from the two sides agree on security arrangements there.”
Aguila Saleh, speaker of the rival eastern-based House of Representatives, supported Sarraj’s proposal of demilitarization of Sirte – but he did not mention Jurfa. The United States floated the idea of demilitarization earlier this month.
Sarraj also called for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in March according to “a constitutional base to be agreed on by the Libyans.”
Saleh, the parliament speaker, called for Sirte to be a temporary seat of the new government.
Both Saraj and Saleh said they want an end to an oil blockade imposed by commander Khalifa Haftar’s camp since earlier this year. They also called for oil revenues, the country’s main source of revenue, to flow into the bank account of the National Oil Corporation outside Libya.
The National Oil Corporation urged for oil revenues to “remain frozen until a comprehensive political agreement is reached.”
“Full transparency and effective governance are required as well as the return of security management of oil facilities to NOC’s exclusive control,” it said in a statement.
Powerful tribes in eastern Libya loyal to Haftar closed oil export terminals and choked off major pipelines at the start of the year to pressure the Tripoli-based government, which is accused of using oil revenues to fund militias and mercenaries.