Talks in Moscow about bringing an end to Libya’s long-running civil war have been adjourned for the night after the country’s rival governments on Monday considered cease-fire proposals from Russia and Turkey.
Fayez Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-recognized government in Tripoli, and eastern commander, Khalifa Hafter, met with top diplomats and military officials from Russia and Turkey for the talks that lasted about seven hours. The negotiations were held behind closed doors, and Sarraj and Hafter didn’t meet directly. A tentative truce came into force on Sunday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Sarraj signed the draft agreement, but that Hafter requested more time to consider it.
“They have a positive view of the document and asked for extra time until the next morning to decide,” Lavrov said of Hafter and his delegation. “I hope they will make a positive decision. Russian and Turkish representatives will continue to offer their assistance.”
The truce marks the first break in fighting in months. There were immediate reports of violations by both sides, however, raising concerns it might not hold. The civil war had been on the brink of a major escalation. Various foreign players back Libya’s rival governments, and they have recently been stepping up their involvement in the oil-rich nation’s conflict.