Libya: Sarraj orders ceasefire, elections in March

Eastern-based parliament joins, Italy welcomes decision

21 August, 14:35

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, AUGUST 21 - Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj announced a ceasefire Friday on the Facebook page of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA). "Based on political and national responsibility, in light of the current situation in the country and the region, and in light of the coronavirus emergency, the head of the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord, Fayez Al Sarraj, orders all military forces to observe an immediate ceasefire and to stop all combat operations in all Libyan territories," he said. "Arriving at an effective ceasefire requires that the zones of Sirte and Jufra be demilitarised and that security forces on both sides agree on preparations related to public order in both cities," he said. "Taking the initiative to announce the ceasefire, the president of the presidential council affirms that 'the definitive objective is to regain full sovereignty on Libyan soil and the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries," he said. He said in the same way that "rights acquired by the Libyan people cannot be abandoned". "Therefore, we must resume oil production and exportation, provided that the revenue is deposited in a special National Oil Company (NOC) account at the Libyan Foreign Bank. In the same context, the president of the presidential council announces that he is adopting all measures needed to support efficient and ideal management of oil resources and repeats that NOC is the only one that has the right to supervise the securing of the oil fields and oil terminals across Libya," he said. Al-Sarraj then announced the next elections in the country, repeating "his request for presidential and parliamentary elections next March based on a sufficient constitutional foundation upon which the two sides agree". The eastern-based parliament in Tobruk joined in the ceasefire request. "We are calling on all parties to observe the immediate ceasefire and stop all military operations across Libya," said Tobruk Parliament spokesperson Aquila Saleh in a statement, cited by Al Jazeera. "The ceasefire cuts the road to any foreign interference and concludes with the withdrawal of mercenaries from the country and the dismantling of the militias," Saleh said. "We are trying to turn the page on conflict and we aspire to a future of peace and building a state through an electoral process based on the constitution," he said. A statement released by the Italian Foreign Ministry said Italy "greatly welcomes" the ceasefire in Libya and "will continue to carry out its active role as facilitator for a political solution to the crisis". "Italy calls on all the interested parties to give a quick and effective follow-up to the path outlined in statements by the Presidential Council and the House of Representatives" and "hopes for concrete application to all branches of the Libyan oil industry throughout the country".(ANSAmed). (ANSA).

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