Russia’s acting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that documents for a Libya peace conference were nearly ready but the war-scarred country’s rivals refused to speak to each other.
World powers are preparing to hold a peace summit in Berlin this weekend as they step up efforts to find a lasting ceasefire in the North African country.
“In my opinion, final documents look practically ready,” Lavrov told reporters.
But he underlined the huge tensions between the heads of Libya’s warring sides – commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar and the head of Tripoli’s UN-recognized government Fayez al-Sarraj.
“So far ties between them are very tense, they don’t even want to be in the same room to say nothing of meeting each other,” Lavrov said.
Earlier this week, two men attended talks in Moscow but Haftar abruptly left on Tuesday without signing a permanent truce to end nine months of fighting.
Lavrov said it was important for both sides not to “repeat past mistakes” and put forward additional demands after the Berlin conference.
The oil-rich North African state has been in turmoil since dictator Moamer Qaddafi was killed in the 2011 NATO-backed uprising and multiple foreign powers have become embroiled.
Last April, an assault on Tripoli by Haftar’s forces sparked fighting that has killed more than 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters, displacing thousands.
Merkel upbeat over cease-fire pledge ahead of Libya meetingGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed assurances on Thursday from Libyan General Khalifa Haftar that he would stick to a cease-fire as world powers ... North Africa
Germany pushes Haftar to join Libya peace talksGermany’s foreign minister headed to Libya on Thursday to persuade Libyan General Khalifa Haftar to join an international conference on the ... North Africa
Erdogan says Turkey starting troop deployment to LibyaTurkey is beginning to send troops into Libya in support of the UN-recognized government in Tripoli, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, days ... Middle East
Haftar sets conditions to end Libya conflict, says militias must surrender armsLibyan National Army General Khalifa Haftar has informed Russia of a number of conditions to end nine months of fighting in the country, including a ... North Africa