22 – 28 July: Turkey and Russia announce that they are working toward a ceasefire in Libya

Jul 29, 2020 | International actors

On 22 July, Turkey and Russia announced that they were working toward a ceasefire in Libya, following a meeting between delegations from the two countries in Ankara. The spokesperson for Turkish President Erdogan, said the two sides had agreed to work on a ‘credible and sustainable ceasefire in Libya,’ but stressed that ‘Jufra and Sirte should be evacuated by Haftar’s forces’ in order for it to be sustainable. Kalin added that Turkey doesn’t see Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Khalifa Haftar as a ‘legitimate actor’ given that he has broken previous truce deals, but said it is willing to negotiate with the House of Representatives (HoR) in Tubruq and other eastern-based political authorities. The two delegations also said in the statement that they would consider a joint working group on Libya, and would hold consultations in Moscow ‘in the near future.’

The same day, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry had held separate phone calls on Libya with his French and German counterparts, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Heiko Mass respectively. Shukry reinforced the importance of the so-called ‘Cairo Initiative’ launched in June for stabilizing Libya and eliminating militants and militias.

Also on 22 July, Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres, told reporters that the UN was deeply concerned about the Egyptian Parliament’s recent decision to authorise the deployment of troops in Libya, and said that Guterres wants to send a message to Egypt that there is no military solution to the conflict in Libya.

On 25 July, Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj met with Erdogan in Istanbul, where the two sides discussed the latest developments in Libya as well as bilateral relations.

On 18 July, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had issued a joint statement in which they threatened to use sanctions against countries that continue to violate the UN arms embargo on Libya, whether by sea, land or air, and noted their serious concerns about the ‘mounting military escalation’ across the country.