Libyan ceasefire announced, Malta supports peace efforts

Government of National Accord calls for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held next March

Rival political leaders in Libya have announced an immediate cease-fire on Friday.

The leaders also called for talks towards demilitarizing the seaside city of Sirte, which has long been the focus of international efforts towards breaking the conflict.

The Government of National Accord also called for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in March, while insisting for an end to an oil blockade imposed by rival forces earlier this year.

“GNA leader Fayez al-Sarraj has issued instructions to all military forces to immediately cease fire and all combat operations in all Libyan territories," a statement said.

The GNA leader also insisted the ultimate aim of the truce is that of having full sovereignty of Libyans in their territories, which would see the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries form the country.

"A ceasefire blocks the way for foreign military interventions and ends with the expulsion of mercenaries and dissolving the militias in order to achieve comprehensive national sovereignty,” rival eastern based speaker of the House of Representatives Aguila Saleh said.

The EU has welcomed the development, insisting the two parties should now stand by their statements.

Malta has said that it supports the announcement of a ceasefire between the two rival factions.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Evarist Bartolo hosted a meeting with Ahmed Mateegh, Deputy Prime Minister, and Mohamed Taher Siala, Minister of Foreign Affairs, of Libya on Sunday, 23 August 2020.  

Discussions focused on the latest developments in Libya and the need to ensure the economic development and social progress of Libya and the Libyan people.    

Both sides discussed the importance of inter-Libyan dialogue and the inclusion of all actors, including youth and women.

Malta also reiterated its support for a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political solution, and its readiness to serve as a channel of communication towards this end.

President George Vella welcomed the “encouraging” news on Twitter, stating it is what the country and its people deserve.

“Very encouraging news coming out of Libya. Ceasefire, desescalation, disarmament, decomissioning militias, dismissing mercenaries. The language of peace is replacing the language of war,” Vella said.