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Libyan rival leaders expected to meet in Moscow on Monday

On January 12, a ceasefire entered into force between the conflicting sides in Libya

CAIRO, January 13. /TASS/. Leaders of two conflicting sides in Libya - Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj - could meet in Moscow on Monday, Akhbar Libya 24 news portal has reported citing media outlets loyal to the GNA.

Sarraj, who paid a visit to Turkey on Sunday and met in Istanbul with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, could come to Moscow on Monday, according to the report, which has not been officially confirmed. Haftar was expected to arrive in the Russian capital on late Sunday. Last time they met in Palermo on November 13, 2018 at a conference on Libya arranged by Italy before Haftar announced an offensive on Tripoli in April 2019.

According to Al-Wasat newspaper, President of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh Issa also headed to Moscow on Sunday. He is a member of the delegation that will hold talks on Libya’s future after the ceasefire between the warring sides. On Sunday he addressed the Egyptian parliament and did not rule out requesting Egypt’s assistance in case of foreign military intervention.

On January 12, a ceasefire entered into force between the conflicting sides in Libya as part of an initiative of Russian and Turkish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the January 8 summit in Istanbul. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry welcomed the ceasefire in western Libya and announced readiness to back all efforts aimed at ending bloodshed. The League of Arab States also supported the Libyan conflicting sides’ decision.

Libyan crisis

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.