Libya’s GNA will boycott Arab League peace talks

GNA fighters in Tripoli, Libya, June 4, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) has said it will boycott talks on the conflict in the North African country to be held by Arab League foreign ministers next week.

Foreign minister Mohamad Taher Siala told the bloc’s executive council on Friday that the planned meeting would “merely deepen the rift” between Arab governments on the conflict, his ministry said.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The talks, to be held by videoconference because of concerns about coronavirus, were called for by Egypt, a key supporter of the GNA’s eastern-based rival, the Libyan National Army (LNA).

Egyptian Cairo Initiative ceasefire

Siala complained there had been no prior consultation with his government, even though the meeting concerned Libya, and said the virtual format of the meeting was not appropriate for addressing the thorny issues involved.

The GNA has been in the ascendancy since its Turkish-backed forces defeated a year-long offensive by the LNA, led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar, against the capital earlier this month and drove them out of western Libya.

Egypt responded with a peace initiative that was welcomed by fellow LNA supporters the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia but rejected by the GNA and Turkey.

Washington has called for UN-led ceasefire talks.

Read more:

Extremist Libyan Imam says GNA can kill captured LNA soldiers

Egyptian army able to defend the country's security: President al-Sisi

Arab League plans urgent virtual meeting on escalating conflict in Libya

Conflict in Libya ongoing

Oil-rich Libya has been torn by violence, drawing in tribal militias, extremists and mercenaries since the 2011 toppling and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a Western-backed uprising.

The latest escalation has been marked by an uptick in foreign involvement.

Recent weeks have seen tensions rise between Turkey and France, which despite public denials has long been suspected of supporting the GNA.

The United Nations has urged outside powers to respect a deal reached at a January conference in Berlin, calling for an end to foreign meddling and upholding a much-violated arms embargo.

A member of the GNA holds his weapon after taking control of Watiya airbase, southwest of Tripoli, Libya May 18, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

A member of the GNA holds his weapon after taking control of Watiya airbase, southwest of Tripoli, Libya May 18, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Saturday, 20 June 2020 KSA 16:24 - GMT 13:24
Top