Published: January 14, 2020
Libya’s eastern strongman General Khalifa Haftar has left Moscow without signing a ceasefire agreement to end nine months of fighting in the country, the Russian foreign ministry confirmed to AFP Tuesday.
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Haftar on Monday evening asked for until Tuesday morning to look over the agreement already signed by the head of UN-recognised government Fayez al-Sarraj, but left the Russian capital without signing, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
The two delegations from Libya on Monday spent seven hours in an attempt to sign a deal outlining the terms of a permanent truce in Libya, following a ceasefire that took effect over the weekend.
Mediated by Russian and Turkish foreign and defense ministers, the talks did not include the warring sides meeting face to face, but Moscow said there was “progress” and that Haftar viewed the ceasefire document “positively”.
Russian state media citing Libyan sources later said however that his plane departed Russia after a failure to reach a permanent agreement, leaving the fragile truce in uncertainty.
Western powers are keen to stabilise Libya – home to Africa’s largest proven crude reserves – following years of turbulence since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.