Libyan rivals agree to support ongoing prisoner exchange process, extend talks
Both sides to the Libyan conflict have agreed to support the ongoing process of exchanging prisoners and extend negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive ceasefire agreement, according to a statement from the United Nations Support Mission in Libya.
“Since the two parties agreed on the necessity of continuing negotiations in order to reach a comprehensive ceasefire agreement, the mission proposed the meet on February 18 for a new round of negotiations between them in Geneva,” the statement from UNSMIL read after meetings concluded on Saturday.
The 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission began meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, under the auspices of the United Nations on Monday. Five senior officers appointed by the Government of National Accord (GNA) and five senior officers appointed by the Libyan National Army (LNA) are taking part in the talks moderated by UN Special Representative and Head of the UNSMIL Ghassan Salame.
At a summit in the German capital Berlin last month, world leaders committed to ending all foreign interference in the oil-rich country and to uphold a weapons embargo to help end the long-running civil war.
Since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that killed longstanding dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has been plunged into chaos. It is now divided between the UN-recognized GNA headed by Fayez al-Sarraj and rival authorities based in the country’s east.