Libyan rivals leave Moscow without ceasefire agreement: report

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Libya's Khalifa Haftar.

Libya’s rival leaders have left Moscow without reaching agreement on a ceasefire deal, with Russia trying to downplay the talks’ failure on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

The deal was proposed by Russia and Turkey in an effort to bring an end to the North African country’s long-running civil war.

Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-recognized government in Tripoli, and his rival Khalifa Haftar went to Moscow on Monday for talks with top diplomats and military officials from Russia and Turkey. The talks lasted about seven hours, and al-Sarraj and Haftar did not meet directly.

They considered a draft document spelling out details of a truce proposed jointly by Russia and Turkey that began Sunday. Al-Sarraj signed the draft before departing, while Haftar requested more time to consider it and then left Moscow without signing the document.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sought to downplay the talks’ failure, saying that efforts to broker a peace deal will continue.

“We all work in the same direction and urge all the sides [of the conflict] in Libya to negotiate instead of trying to sort things out violently,” Lavrov said Tuesday in Sri Lanka.

In the meantime, the United Nations urged the opposing governments “to continue to adhere to the announced cease-fire.” In a statement Tuesday the UN Support Mission in Libya asked both sides “to give the ongoing diplomatic efforts an opportunity to yield a more permanent cessation of hostilities.”

Russia and Turkey welcomed Germany’s plan to hold a Libya peace summit in Berlin later this month.

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