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UN Calls for ‘Lasting Ceasefire’ in Libya

The UN Security Council on Wednesday adopted a resolution calling for a “lasting ceasefire” in Libya, where a fragile truce has been in place since January.

The text, drafted by Britain, was approved by 14 votes out of 15, with Russia abstaining.

It was subject to weeks of wrangling, reflecting deep international divisions over Libya despite world leaders recently agreeing to end all foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs and to uphold a weapons embargo.

The resolution affirmed “the need for a lasting ceasefire in Libya at the earliest opportunity, without pre-conditions.”

It also expressed “concern over the growing involvement of mercenaries in Libya.”

Russia had pushed to replace the word “mercenaries” with “foreign terrorist fighters,” but was unsuccessful.

A fragile ceasefire was established in Libya on January 12, and at an international summit in Berlin a week later, world leaders agreed to end all foreign interference in Libya and to uphold a weapons embargo.

But there are still near-daily clashes near Tripoli and arms continue to flow into the country.

The resolution called for continued negotiations by the joint military commission set up in January between the Libyan National Army and the Government of National Accord, with the goal of achieving a “permanent ceasefire.”
This would include a monitoring system, a separation of forces and confidence-building measures.

The commission’s Geneva meeting ended Saturday without a resolution, but the UN proposed resuming talks from February 18.

The resolution also called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to submit proposals for monitoring the ceasefire “as soon as possible, when a ceasefire is agreed by the Libyan parties.”

It also called on regional organizations, “notably the African Union, League of Arab States and European Union” to collaborate in order to “support the UN” in its search for a political solution and supervision of a ceasefire.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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