Putin, Erdogan urge Libyan factions to observe ceasefire

FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) talk after they symbolically open a valve during a ceremony in Istanbul for the inauguration of the TurkStream pipeline, January 8, 2020. /AP Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have called upon the warring factions in Libya to adhere to a ceasefire and begin talks in efforts to ensure lasting peace in the country.

The two leaders held a telephone conversation on Monday focusing on various issues, including the Libyan crisis.

The Kremlin said in a statement that the two leaders reaffirmed the need for the conflicting sides to take real steps to reach a sustainable ceasefire and to launch direct talks in keeping with the resolutions of the Berlin Conference and UN Security Council Resolution 2510.

Libya has been dogged by a civil war for years, sparked by the killing of former long-serving president Muammar Gadaffi.

The war has killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands as each faction claims legitimacy.

Forces loyal to Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) under Fayez al-Sarraj and those under eastern commander Khalifa Haftar have been receiving support from various countries in their quest to take control of the country.

Besides the telephone conversation between Putin and Erdogan, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrived in Tripoli on Monday unannounced for talks with the United Nations-acknowledged Government of National Accord on the “very dangerous situation” in the country.

Maas said “world must not be deceived by the “deceptive calm” in the North African country, calling upon the international community to find a lasting solution to the crisis.