Russia calls for Libya ceasefire
On Dec 31st, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia considers a ceasefire in Libya a basic condition for the start of a political dialogue. Speaking in Moscow at a news conference, Lavrov said no condition precedes the cessation of hostile activities.
“I believe that a ceasefire is the main condition for starting a political dialogue. Moreover, such a ceasefire must occur without any prior requirements. It is in the interests of the Libyan people to end the fighting, declare an indefinite ceasefire and start a dialogue aimed at working out such agreements that will be implemented,” he added.
“Now there is a lot of talk about preparations for a conference in Berlin. All this will maintain the current unclear situation if the parties do not agree very specifically on how to ensure that all political, clan and ethnic interests in Libya are taken into account.”
He stressed the importance of local involvement saying that agreements that “were offered from outside” such as the ones at conferences in France, Italy and the United Arab Emirates could not be successful.
He also ruled out a no fly zone over Libya, since the move now has negative connotations as the bombardment of the country began after the UN security council authorized the regime. He stressed the role of unity among Security Council members to declare an indefinite ceasefire. He urged all international players in the conflict to influence the Libyan war in the same direction, that of ceasefire. It is only then that negotiations can be carried out.
Libya has been in political turmoil since 2011 when a NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and assassination of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after over forty years in power.
Since then, Libya’s political divisions have created two rival seats of power in Tobruk and in Tripoli as well as a host of armed militia groups all of which are backed my a platitude of international players.