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Libya Talks Begin in Geneva, While U.S. Security Delegation Is in Tripoli

Feb. 4, 2020 (EIRNS)—The Joint Military Commission (5+5), which is part of the ceasefire and settlement process arranged at the Jan. 19 Berlin Conference on Libya, held its first session in Geneva on Feb. 3-4. The commission was able to meet after Libyan National Army commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced that the LNA would participate in the talks. Haftar had met in Rajma on Feb. 1 with United Nations envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame on political and economic issues reported by the UN Mission in Libya in a tweet. Five representatives from the LNA negotiated with five representatives of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, moderated by UN Envoy Salame, although they were in separate rooms.

Salame said the talks were aimed at transforming the truce into a real agreement for a sustainable ceasefire.

On Feb. 4, during an early break in the sessions, Salame had a press “stakeout,” in which he told media there was a “genuine will to start negotiating” to turn the truce into a lasting ceasefire, although he lamented the fact that the arms embargo was being violated by both sides and that new mercenaries and arms were still arriving “by air and by sea” in Libya.  He did stress, however, this was the first time “in a long time,” that high ranking officers of the two sides had met, if not “the very, very first time ever.”

Salame said the military talks were the first of three tracks. The second track will be economic and will take place in Cairo on February 9, and the third is the political track which hopefully will follow later in Geneva.

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