CAIRO, January 12. /TASS/. The Libyan National Army (LNA) loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has declared a ceasefire in the western part of the country starting midnight on Sunday local time (01:00 Moscow time), the army’s spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari informed.
"The Libyan army declares a ceasefire in the western region starting 00:01 January 12," the statement quoted by the Al-Wasat news outlet informs. "The ceasefire will remain in place as long as the other side adheres to it. In case of any violations, the response will be tough."
On the outcomes of the January 8 meeting in Istanbul, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish colleague Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on all sides to the Libyan conflict to declare a ceasefire starting midnight January 12. After the talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday, Putin stressed that he expects the Libyan conflict parties to heed the call of Moscow and Ankara regarding the ceasefire. The president added that Moscow supports the German chancellor’s idea on holding a conference on Libyan regulation in Berlin under the auspices of the UN. Putin stated that such a conference could begin the process of steady peaceful regulation in the country via political means.
The Government of National Accord, based in Tripoli and led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, welcomed the outcomes of the Putin-Erdogan talks, noting that it will support any serious call to restart the political process in Libya and avoid war. On Saturday, al-Sarraj stated after meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Rome that he is ready to adhere to a ceasefire if the Libyan National Army stops its offensive.
Currently, Libya has two supreme executive authorities, namely the internationally recognized Tripoli-based Government of National Accord headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and the interim government of Abdullah al-Thani, seated in the east of the country, alongside the parliament, which is supported by the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. On December 12, 2019, Haftar announced the launch of a win-the-war offensive against Tripoli, aiming to eradicate terrorist groups operating there.
On January 2, Turkey’s parliament approved a bill that would allow the government to send troops to Libya. This step sparked a wave of criticism across the region. On January 5, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the beginning of Turkish troops’ deployment to Libya. Erdogan pointed out that the force would be "tasked with carrying out coordination actions" and with "ensuring the security of [Libya's] legitimate government," but would not be involved in fighting. On Tuesday, Libya’s Government of National Accord confirmed that the first group of Turkish service members had arrived in Tripoli.