UN special representative for Libya Ghassan Salame says the 5+5 commission, whose members were proposed by Libya's warring sides, will meet next week to help convert current truce into a "full-fledged ceasefire".

A fighter loyal to the internationally recognised Libyan Government of National Accord fires a truck-mounted gun during clashes with illegal militia of warlord Khalifa Haftar in the capital Tripoli's suburb of Ain Zara, on September 7, 2019.
A fighter loyal to the internationally recognised Libyan Government of National Accord fires a truck-mounted gun during clashes with illegal militia of warlord Khalifa Haftar in the capital Tripoli's suburb of Ain Zara, on September 7, 2019. (MAHMUD TURKIA / Getty Images)

The 5+5 Military Commission will convene next week in Geneva to discuss the ceasefire between Libya's warring parties, a UN official said on Tuesday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ghassan Salame, the UN special representative for Libya, said he is grateful for the participation and contribution of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the international conference on Libya in Berlin, Germany on Sunday.

"I'm [also] extremely grateful for the participation of the Turkish delegation in the sixth preparatory meetings we had for Berlin led by [Turkish presidential spokesperson] Ibrahim Kalin, with whom I had a number of bilateral and positive meetings," he said, praising Turkey's efforts for peace in Libya.

UN envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres adjust their earphones as they attend a news conference after the Libya summit in Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2020.
UN envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres adjust their earphones as they attend a news conference after the Libya summit in Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2020. (Reuters)

5+5 Commission

Regarding recent violations of the ceasefire, Salame said the UN has been following the breaches since the truce was called for by Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The UN envoy pointed out that all parties at the Berlin conference had asked Libya's Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj and warlord Khalifa Haftar, who were in Berlin but not at the conference, "to extend the truce in order for us to give a chance for diplomacy".

Regarding the proposed 5+5 Military Commission to ensure the ceasefire, Salame said: "I have the five names from Mr Sarraj and the five names from Mr Haftar to have this joint commission meet as soon as possible so that the truce that has been called for by the two presidents [Erdogan and Putin] by the end of January becomes a full-fledged ceasefire."

At the Berlin conference, they agreed to a three-point plan – including the economic and financial, military and political track, he said.

Referring to Sarraj's statement that he will not sit at the negotiation table with Haftar anymore, he said the war continuing for nine months is a sign of the "polarisation".

"The country is now politically very polarised," he said, hoping that Libyans can become united.

Meanwhile, at Davos economic form, Turkey FM Mevlut Cavusoglu said every nation in Berlin peace process for Libya was in favour of a ceasefire but warlord Haftar did not commit to it.

On January 12, the conflicting parties announced a ceasefire in response to a joint call by the Turkish and Russian leaders. However, talks for a permanent ceasefire ended without an agreement after Haftar left Moscow without signing the deal.

On Sunday, Haftar accepted in Berlin to designate members to a UN-proposed military commission with five members from each side to monitor implementation of the ceasefire.

Blockade on oil exports 

On the recent closure of Libya's oil ports, he said he called for the immediate reopening of all oil terminals.

"We do believe that oil is independent and not politically polarised," he said, adding the country relies on oil exports for most of its national revenue.

Therefore, the country cannot make the people hostages to political manoeuvres, he added.

On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres co-hosted the Berlin conference, which sought a stronger commitment from the world powers and regional actors to non-interference in Libya, genuine support for the ceasefire and adherence to the UN’s arms embargo.

Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

55-point final plan

Also on Tuesday, the UN Security Council welcomed the commitment by world powers and other key countries to support a plan to restore peace in Libya and urged the warring parties to quickly conclude a ceasefire agreement.

The UN’s most powerful body issued a statement after a closed-door briefing by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He told reporters afterwards that it is critical to move from the current truce that has had some violations to a cease-fire accord and then to "a real political process".

He said a "major step" was taken Sunday by leaders of 12 countries in agreeing at a meeting in Berlin to a 55-point final document plus operational plans. 

It commits them not to interfere in Libya's civil war, to support a ceasefire, to honour a widely broken UN arms embargo and to support a UN-facilitated political process, he said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies