File photo. Photograph:( AFP )
Russia on Wednesday accused Turkey of helping foreign fighters cross into Libya
The two warring sides in Libya suspended their participation in the UN-sponsored peace talks hoping to end the months-long crisis.
While the rival Libyan politicians had met on Wednesday for the first round of the UN-sponsored political talks in Geneva aimed at ending the latest round of fighting over the country’s capital Tripoli, just hours later, the Western-backed Tripoli government sent a letter to the UN demanding that talks be suspended until “concrete progress is made” in ongoing military negotiations.
The spokesperson for the rival Tobruk-based government under Khalifa Haftar also requested a postponement.
The move came despite assurances from the UN that negotiations would still go ahead.
The eastern side or the Tobruk based government that rivals the internationally recognised administration of Tripoli also said that it could not promise to lift an oil blockade as that was against the wishes of the local tribesmen.
Power in Libya is divided between two rival governments, in the east and west of the country but in the wake of intensified international efforts, the UN has launched three parallel tracks of negotiations to push a ceasefire and resolve the crisis in Libya.
The declared ceasefire deal, now under review by Libya’s competing leaders addresses a few things including the return of thousands of displaced civilians to Tripoli but it makes no mention of key points of contention, such as the withdrawal of eastern-based forces or the demobilization of militias allied with the UN-supported Tripoli government.
Meanwhile, Russia on Wednesday accused Turkey of helping foreign fighters cross into Libya.
Since April, the western-backed Tripoli government has been clashing with forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, who is aligned with a rival administration based in the country's east and backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Russia, making it a protracted war.