According to French and Eastern Libyan officials, Khalifa Haftar has reportedly confirmed his readiness to accept and sign a draft ceasefire agreement with Western Libya, assuming the GNA abides as well.
Haftar visited Paris Monday (Mar 9) on the personal invitation of French President Macron. A statement issued by the Elysee informed that so long as the GNA-aligned armed groups commit and uphold the ceasefire, Haftar will as well. A spokesman for Haftar said that Macron reiterated “full support for efforts of Haftar’s forces in fighting terrorism and achieving stability in Libya”.
The two leaders discussed Haftar’s oil blockade and the drop in Libyan oil production. According to the statement issued, the blockade was blamed on foreign intervention.
Haftar also travelled to Berlin where he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This was the first time Haftar met with Merkel since the January 19 Berlin Peace Conference. Merkel stressed the importance of reaching a political solution and that a military solution is not possible.
The ceasefire agreement in question was reached last month in the military dialogue track. The draft agreement would allow displaced civilians to return to their homes amidst the truce.
UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame announced unexpectedly he is resigning from his position. Salame, a former Lebanese politician and professor of political science in France, has worked tirelessly to bring an end to the fighting in Libya since 2017 when he took over the role.
Salame noted that his “health no longer allows this rate of stress” and asked UN Secretary General Guterres to relieve him of his post. Salame managed to convene the sides and the major regional and international actors to Berlin, followed by a series of military, economic and political talks while in the background, a Russian/Turkish ceasefire teeters on the brink of collapse. While just over a month has passed since launching the renewed process, there has not been a clear positive outcome, despite some limited progress in a few areas.
Salame, just last week, said he did not have the support he needed, and expressed disappointment that the international powers “who have many ways of putting pressure on those who violate the ceasefire, on those who violate the arms embargo, on those who do not come to Geneva political talks, on those who give orders to sabotage the military or political talks” did not do what they needed to. Salame was also reportedly highly frustrated with the European powers not taking an active role, until recently, and with those who violated the arms embargo, especially Turkey and the UAE, even after recommitting to upholding this after the Berlin conference.