17:35 - June 06, 2020
News ID: 3471613
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Strongman Khalifa Haftar has backed a ceasefire in Libya starting Monday, Egypt's president announced after talks in Cairo, after Haftar suffered a series of military defeats by the Tripoli-based government.


"This initiative calls for respecting all international efforts and initiatives by declaring a ceasefire from 0600 Monday June 8, 2020," President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told a news conference.

Al-Sisi said the initiative, which included a cease-fire starting Monday, was meant to pave the way for elections in oil-rich Libya. He called for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters in Libya. Speaking alongside Haftar and eastern parliament head Aguila Saleh in Cairo, Sisi said the agreement included a call for negotiations in Geneva and the exit of all foreign fighters from Libya.

There was no immediate comment from the UN-supported government in the capital, Tripoli, which has repulsed a 14-month offensive against the capital by Haftar and is now poised to drive on eastwards. Tripoli announced Saturday they were launching an attack on the coastal town of Sirte, the hometown of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, which lies roughly midway between Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

"The air force has carried out five strikes in the outskirts of Sirte" -- the last major town before the traditional boundary between Libya's western Tripolitania and eastern Cyrenaica regions -- GNA spokesman Mohamad Gnounou said, AFP reported.

Haftar’s east-based Libyan Arab Armed Forces had launched an offensive last year to capture Tripoli. But he recently lost several strategic spots in western Libya after Turkey increased its support to an array of militias loosely allied with the Tripoli-based government.

Haftar’s forces are supported by France, Russia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and other key Arab countries. Along with Turkey, the government in Tripoli is backed by Italy and Qatar.

Libya has been in turmoil since 2011 when a civil war toppled Gaddafi, who was later killed. The country has split between rival administrations in the east and the west, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.



Tags: Libya ، Haftar ، Sisi
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