Rival Libyan Leaders to Hold Peace Talks

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Libya Chief of Staff, Marshall Khalifa Haftar, President of the Libyan House of Representatives in Tobruk Aguila Saleh Issa, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, Fayez al-Sarraj, and Khaled Mechri attend a conference on Libya, at the Elysee
Libya Chief of Staff, Marshall Khalifa Haftar, President of the Libyan House of Representatives in Tobruk Aguila Saleh Issa, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, Fayez al-Sarraj, and Khaled Mechri attend a conference on Libya.PHOTO/VOA

The leaders of Libya’s rival governments are due to meet today in Moscow for peace talks.

According to Russia’s foreign ministry  both Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), and Khalifa Haftar, who commands the Libyan National Army (LNA), would take part in the meeting.

Russian and Turkish officials are also participating in the push for peace in Libya, which has struggled with instability since the death of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi.

A cease-fire went into effect Sunday after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who support opposing sides, spent the week calling for the truce.

The United Nations, Arab League and European Union are urging the GNA and LNA to abide by the cease-fire, which was said to hold Sunday although some minor violations were reported.

The U.N. mission in Libya asked both warring sides to “respect the cease-fire” and efforts to hold peace talks.

European embassies in Tripoli sent out a joint statement urging Libyans to “seize this fragile opportunity to address the key political, economic, and security issues” that caused the fighting.

Arab League states called on the rivals in Libya to “commit to stop the fighting, work on alleviating all forms of escalations and engage in good faith aimed at reaching permanent arrangements for a cease-fire.”

The situation has grown more contentious in recent months as Haftar launched an offensive aimed at capturing Tripoli.

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