President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the Libyan crisis over the phone Monday. Putin stressed his support of the Cairo Declaration as the main forum for a longstanding conclusive peace in Libya
Both presidents “confirmed a mutual bid towards continuing coordination with an aim to ensure the soonest end of warfare and the launch of intra-Libyan talks under the UN auspices.”
Similarly, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that the Cairo Declaration, Egypt’s peace initiative to help resolve the Libyan crisis, must be the main forum to decide Libya’s future, on Monday.
Moscow said the initiative could serve as the basis for long overdue negotiations between the opposing sides in Libya.
Early on Monday, Russian presidency spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said there are no plans scheduled on President Vladimir Putin’s agenda for meetings with Fayez Al-Sarraj, Head of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA).
On Sunday, some Arab media outlets had reported that Al-Sarraj plans to visit Moscow following his visit to Turkey.
Also on Monday, a senior UAE official noted his country’s support of the new Egyptian peace initiative for Libya, calling it a move towards a ceasefire and political solution.
The UAE, Egypt, and Russia back the eastern-based Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) led by Commander Khalifa Haftar.
“With the support of the White House National Security Council (NSC) for the Egyptian initiative, Arab and international momentum for an immediate ceasefire, a withdrawal of foreign forces and a return to the political track is strengthened,” UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.
On 6 June, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced a political initiative that paves the way for an elected leadership council and a ceasefire starting on Monday. It also warned against sticking to the military option to resolve the crisis in Libya.
Al-Sisi pointed out that a political solution is the only one to solve the Libya crisis, and that Egypt’s security is Libya’s security and stability.
Standing alongside the Egyptian president as the initiative was announced, Haftar agreed to the political initiative.
The Cairo Declaration comes after the abrupt collapse of a 14-month offensive by LAAF which attempted to take control of Libyan capital, Tripoli. Multiple previous attempts to establish truces and a return to negotiations have foundered.
The United Nations (UN), however, has in recent days started holding separate talks with both sides to reach a cease-fire deal.
Al-Sarraj, who heads Libya’s GNA backed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has announced his refusal of the Cairo Declaration, ordering his forces to continue efforts to capture the city of Sirte.
On Sunday, Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Aguila Saleh, confirmed that the Cairo Declaration is the best solution to the Libyan crisis, as it culminated in local and international consultations.
In a press statement, Saleh said, “The Russian-American dispute in Libya is not new, and we expect their interests to be achieved in a way that suits the interests of the Libyans.”
Saleh clarified that the return of oil production is directly linked to the ceasefire, stressing, that “there is no oil with the guns”. He pointed out that Turkish intervention has complicated the scene in Libya.
Saleh suggested that each of Libya’s historical regions choose their own representatives in the new political scene. He also stressed that “there is no disagreement with the army leadership, as we all seek the same goal even if opinions differ on that”.