Egypt's peace initiative for Libya has near international consensus: Libyan official

A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency on June 6, 2020 shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C), Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar (R) and the Libyan Parliament speaker Aguila Issa Saleh arriving for a joint press conference in the capital Cairo. (AFP)

The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire for Libya has a near consensus among the international community, said Aguila Issa Saleh, speaker of the eastern-based Libyan House of Representatives.

The Cairo Initiative was accepted by the Libyan National Army but rejected by its rival Government of National Accord, based in Tripoli and backed by Turkey and Turkish mercenaries.

Saleh, whose parliament supports the LNA, said that the army's goal was to rid the country of extremist militias.

He welcomed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's role in brokering the Cairo Initiative and said that "colonial powers," presumably a reference to Turkey, and Libyan groups were the only ones who had rejected it.

Saleh also reportedly said that the Libyan people would formally request Egypt’s military intervention if it becomes necessary, and will request Egypt’s military support if Sirte is overrun.

Read more: Why is Turkey supporting the Libyan GNA? To control Libya’s energy reserves: Experts

1 Aguila Saleh Issa, speaker of Libya’s fomerly-Tobruk-based House of Representatives which was elected in 2014, chairs the first session for the assembly at its new headquarters in the second city of Benghazi in the eastern part of the country on April 13, 2019. (AFP)

1 Aguila Saleh Issa, speaker of Libya’s fomerly-Tobruk-based House of Representatives which was elected in 2014, chairs the first session for the assembly at its new headquarters in the second city of Benghazi in the eastern part of the country on April 13, 2019. (AFP)

Tensions are heightened in Libya after the GNA made advances against the LNA and looked poised to threaten the strategic coastal city of Sirte.

The LNA, backed by Egypt, has said that it will never give up Sirte to Turkey, “no matter the sacrifice.”

"We will not leave Sirte for Turkey, no matter the sacrifices," LNA official Khaled al-Mahjoub told Al Arabiya on Sunday.

Sirte has strategic significance as a gateway to Libya's vast oil resources.

A map of territorial control in Libya as of June 22, 2020.

A map of territorial control in Libya as of June 22, 2020.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 24 June 2020 KSA 11:39 - GMT 08:39
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