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Monday, 20 January 2020

World powers pledge to end interference in Libya

World powers pledge to end interference in Libya: Egypt, Russia, Turkey and nine other countries yesterday pledged to wind down the escalating proxy conflict in Libya and end interference in the country’s years’ long civil war, Reuters reports. Countries that have been actively supporting either the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) or eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar have said they will respect an existing UN arms embargo and stop sending weapons into the country. Those found in breach of the embargo will face UN sanctions, according to a draft communique obtained by CNN.

Haftar, GNA agree to further ceasefire talks: Haftar and GNA Prime Minister Fayez Al Serraj have nominated five military figures to join a committee to conduct further ceasefire talks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after the conference, according to the Associated Press. Haftar’s forces — backed by Egypt, Russia, the UAE and France — have tried in recent weeks to rapidly seize control of Tripoli, but an uneasy ceasefire agreed last week seems to be holding, although Libyan officials reported shelling in the capital yesterday ahead of the conference.

Haftar turns the screw on country’s oil production: Forces allied to Haftar yesterday shut down the pipeline linking the country’s largest oil field to the coast, exacerbating production problems caused on Saturday when the general blocked oil ports in the east and center of the country, Bloomberg reports. A spokesperson for the country’s National Oil Company said that the country will now only be able to export 72k bbl/d, down from its normal 1.2 mn bbl/d capacity, depriving the GNA of a vital source of revenue.

Egypt so far silent: Ittihadiya and the Foreign Ministry are yet to issue official statements on yesterday’s agreement, with the ministry noting only minister Sameh Shoukry’s meeting with senior EU officials and the Italian foreign minister on the sidelines of the conference.

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