Putin, Merkel hold phone talks on Libya

Two leaders discuss Libyan crisis, preparations for Berlin conference

Dmitri Chirciu – January 14, 2020

MOSCOW (Anadolu) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed recent developments in the Libyan crisis and preparations for an upcoming conference in Berlin on its settlement over the phone Monday.

“The process of preparing for the international conference on the Libyan settlement in Berlin was discussed,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

According to the statement, Putin also briefed Merkel on talks on Libya in Moscow which were attended by representatives of both sides of the conflict.

Earlier Monday, a German government spokesman said Berlin will host an international peace conference on Jan. 19 on the Libyan crisis.

The warring sides in the Libyan conflict accepted a joint call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Putin for a ceasefire late Saturday.

The ceasefire took effect at midnight local time (2200GMT), and the decision was celebrated with fireworks in Tripoli.

Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-recognized government in Tripoli, and Haftar arrived in Moscow on Monday for talks on the terms of a ceasefire agreement.

In April, Haftar launched an offensive to capture Tripoli from the UN-recognized government.

According to the UN, more than 1,000 people have been killed since the start of the operation and more than 5,000 others injured.

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 United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

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