Stephanie Williams, the acting special envoy for Libya of the United Nations, said on the 21st that she believes that the negotiations between the two sides of the Libyan conflict in Geneva, Switzerland, are “very optimistic” and are expected to enable the North African country to achieve a lasting ceasefire.
The fourth round of talks of the Libyan Joint Military Commission started on the 19th and is expected to last until the 24th. Williams told reporters during the meeting that the two parties in the conflict agreed to “maintain the current calm state on the front line and avoid any military escalation.” The negotiations will determine the situation in central Libya and lay the foundation for a ceasefire.
Williams said: “This is why I am very optimistic that both parties will reach a more lasting and permanent ceasefire agreement.”
The Libyan Government of National Unity and the National Congress announced a ceasefire in August, calling for the establishment of a demilitarized zone in the central city of Sirte and the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections.
According to the United Nations acting envoy, the conflicting parties agreed to resume flights between the capital Tripoli and the main eastern city of Benghazi this week, and progress has been made in the exchange of detainees.
Since 2014, Libya has formed a confrontation between the two major political forces of the East and the West. The government of national unity is recognized by the United Nations and controls the western regions such as Tripoli, the capital, and is supported by countries such as Turkey and Qatar. The eastern armed “National Army” formed an alliance with the National Congress to control the eastern and central regions, major southern cities and some western cities, and was supported by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Williams said that after the two sides of the conflict in Libya met in Geneva this week, the two sides are scheduled to hold a political dialogue in Tunisia on November 9.
The Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity Fayez Saraje intends to resign at the end of this month. Williams believes this will help end the long transition and form a government.
Williams asked the external forces involved in the conflict in Libya to “let go,” saying that the two parties in the conflict had previously reached an agreement that once a lasting ceasefire is achieved in Libya, all foreign troops and mercenaries must withdraw within three months under the supervision of the United Nations.
After eight months of armed blockade in the east, Libyan oil production resumed in August. The National Petroleum Corporation of Libya warned that the team guarding the oil field may pose a risk to the oil field. Williams said that both parties to the conflict agreed to send a commander and the Libyan National Oil Company to work on the proposed reorganization of the oil field team.