Libyan rivals in Moscow for peace talks

Libyan rivals in Moscow for peace talks

Agency News

Moscow, Jan 13 : Leaders of Libya's two warring sides arrived here for talks, a day after a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey came into force, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"In accordance with the agreements reached between the presidents of Russia and Turkey, a Russian-Turkish meeting at the level of the heads of the foreign and defense ministries has started in Moscow," Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Facebook.

"Representatives of the Libyan parties have arrived and will soon join the talks," she added. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday issued a joint statement after a series of meetings in Istanbul.

The two leaders called on all parties in Libya to declare a ceasefire from Sunday, January 12, to stop all hostilities and to start immediate negotiations with the aim of establishing peace in the country.

The Libyan National Army on Saturday announced a ceasefire and stopped all military operations against the UN-backed government across western Libya, while the Tripoli-based UN-backed government did the same several hours later.

Libya has been locked in a civil war since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011. The oil-rich country has since been split between two rival administrations based in the country's east and west amid a conflict drawing increasing involvement from foreign powers. (UNI)