3 June – 9 June: Sisi announces new peace initiative for Libya

Jun 10, 2020 | International actors

On 6 June, Egyptian President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, flanked by the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar, and Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR), Aqeela Saleh, announced a new peace initiative for Libya and declared that a ceasefire would begin on 8 June at 6:00 am local time.  No ceasefire has been enforced at the time of writing. The announcement in Cairo was attended by US, Russian, French, and Italian diplomats and envoys. However, there were no Government of National Accord (GNA) officials or representatives of the GNA’s main international backers (namely Turkey) in attendance.

Following Egyptian President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi’s announcement of the “Cairo initiative” on 6 June, there has been a flurry of international activity and reaction. On 8 June, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement supporting the “Cairo initiative”. The same day, Turkish Foreign Minister, Cavusoglu, and Russian Foreign Minister, Lavrov, held a meeting to discuss the Libya crisis in which they reportedly agreed to work together and to establish conditions for a peace process. The two men also discussed the need for the appointment of a new UN envoy.

On 8 June, Turkish President Erdogan held a phone call with US President Donald Trump in which, according to a White House statement, the two leaders discussed Libya, Syria and the Mediterranean region. They reportedly agreed on “some issues” with regards to the Libya conflict. Erdogan added he would discuss Russia’s actions in Libya with President Vladimir Putin. On the same day, Russian President Putin held a phone call with Sisi to discuss the “Cairo initiative” in detail and confirmed their mutual desire for progression to a political dialogue in Libya as soon as possible.

Also on 8 June, German Chancellor Merkel spoke with Sisi about the Libyan conflict. Merkel reportedly told the Egyptian president that UN-facilitated negotiations must remain the primary means of achieving peace in Libya.

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the US Embassy in Libya released statements welcoming the Egyptian initiative, as did some other ‘neutral’ nations.