21 – 27 October: Several countries welcome Libyan ceasefire

Oct 29, 2020 | International actors

Several countries and international organizations welcomed the ceasefire announcement from 23 October, including the United States, Egypt, and several European countries as well as the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the African Union. United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres also gave a speech in which he called on the international community to ‘support Libyans in implementing the ceasefire and ending the conflict,’ calling the ceasefire ‘a critical step, but there is much hard work ahead‘. The UN called the agreement an ‘historic achievement’ and specified that the reintegration of armed forces into a single body would begin with the categorization and identification of all armed units. However, not all international responses were positive. Following the ceasefire announcement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that the ‘reliability’ of the agreement ‘does not seem too achievable to me,’ adding, ‘we do not know the validity of (the decision) to withdraw mercenaries within three months’.

On 25 October, the United Nations Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) released the names of 75 delegates invited to participate in the LPDF. Delegates had purportedly been invited on the basis that they represented a cross-section of Libya’s social and political environment.  The first round of the LPDF began on 26 October via a virtual platform, with in-person meetings slated to begin in Tunis on 9 October. Criticism from various sectors of Libyan society quickly emerged following the release of the LPDF participants list.

On 22 October, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov reportedly received his Turkish counterpart, Sedan Onal, in Moscow for a new round of consultations on resolving the Libyan and Syrian crises. The parties ‘marked the progress reached’ during intra-Libyan political, military and economic dialogues. On 26 October, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also gave an interview with the Athens News Agency in which he stated that ‘Russia and Turkey are working to settle the conflicts’ in Nargorno-Karabakh, Syria and Libya. Lavrov added, ‘As we speak, Russian and Turkish experts are contributing to efforts to reconcile the conflict parties in Libya. By combining our efforts we have been able to introduce a ceasefire, as well as to restart oil production … We continue working on bridging the gap in the negotiating positions of the warring parties, with a view to launching political reforms based on UN Security Council resolutions and the outcomes of the Berlin conference.’