Libyan PM stresses commitment to newly announced cease-fire

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A fighter of the UN-recognized Libyan government gestures on a pickup truck in the Abu Qurain area about 300 kilometers east of the Libyan capital Tripoli, July 20, 2020.
A fighter of the UN-recognized Libyan government gestures on a pickup truck in the Abu Qurain area about 300 kilometers east of the Libyan capital Tripoli, July 20, 2020. The United Nations is concerned about the military buildup around the northern Libyan port city of Sirte and its potential impact on the civilian population, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Monday. Forces of the UN-recognized Libyan government and the east-based Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar were fighting for the control of Sirte. The LNA had to retreat from Tripoli after its year-long offensive on the capital city faltered. (Photo by Hamza Turkia/Xinhua)

The UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj on Tuesday stressed commitment to the recently announced cease-fire in the country.

Serraj made his remarks during a meeting with Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union, according to a statement issued by the Libyan PM’s information office.

Serraj and the Speaker of the eastern-based House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, recently issued statements calling for a cease-fire in the country, reopening oilfields and ports, holding elections, and making the city of Sirte and Jufra district in central Libya demilitarized zone.

“The prime minister said that the Government of National Accord is committed to what it announced and the agreement points in the two statements, adding that the other party (eastern-based army) is concerned with many of these points, such as disarming Sirte city and Jufra district and reopening the oil sites,” the statement said.

Serraj warned against any attacks against the UN-backed government’s forces in and around Sirte, saying such acts could destroy any chance for cease-fire, the statement added.

“During the meeting, the High Representative reaffirmed the European Union’s support for the statements to achieve security and peace in Libya,” the statement said.

The two sides also discussed the European operation against arms smuggling to Libya, and illegal immigration, as Borrell pointed out that the EU will provide support for the Libyan Coast Guard in the next few months.

Libya is a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards European shores, due to the insecurity and chaos in the country since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.

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