Libya conflict: Haftar ‘leaves’ Moscow ceasefire talks without deal

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Khalifa Haftar (R) met Russia’s defence minister earlier this month

Libya’s Gen Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are fighting the UN-backed government in Tripoli, has left talks in Moscow without signing a deal, according to media reports.

Meetings involving Haftar and the Government of National Accord (GNA) began on Monday.

Both Russia, which backs Haftar, and Turkey, which supports the GNA, were behind efforts to reach to a ceasefire.

The deal was aimed at ending nine months of fighting around the capital.

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  • Turkey risks falling deeper into Libya conflict

The role of international actors in the Libyan conflict has come into focus in recent months, with Turkey passing a controversial law to deploy troops to help GNA forces fighting in Tripoli.

Meanwhile, Gen Haftar is also backed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jordan, raising fears that oil-rich Libya could become the theatre of a regional conflict.

Over the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Berlin would to host another round of Libyan peace talks to build on the efforts by Turkey and Russia later in January.

What’s happening in Libya?

Libya has been wracked by conflict since the 2011 uprising which ousted long-time strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

The Libyan National Army (LNA), which is loyal to Gen Haftar, controls most of eastern Libya.

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His forces launched an offensive against the capital in April 2019 but have been unable to take the city. Last week, however, they did take the country’s third-biggest city, Sirte.

According to the UN, tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the fighting around Tripoli.

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Media captionBBC Arabic found videos of bodies being desecrated by fighters loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar



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