The Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Government of National Accord (GNA) are about to reach an agreement to demilitarize the city of Sirte, Asharq Al-Awsat reported on September 25.
Sirte, one of Libya’s key oil ports, has been the focus of the ongoing talks between the country’s warring parties for the last few months.
Sources familiar with the ongoing talks told Asharq Al-Awsat that there is an initial understanding to demilitarize Sirte in order to turn it into a headquarters for a new “national authority” that will succeed the UN-recognized GNA.
“There is an initial understanding to turn Sirte into a demilitarized green zone, withdraw all conflicting parties from its surroundings and to declare a permanent ceasefire between the GNA and the LNA,” one of the sources told the London-based newspaper.
The sources also claimed that Russia and Turkey had reached a secret agreement to withdraw all foreign fighters supporting the LNA and the GNA from Libya.
Moscow and Ankara will allegedly help form a joint LNA-GNA force with tribal fighters from Libya’s three provinces, Cyrenaica, Tripoli and Fezzan.
Delegations from the LNA-backed House of Representatives, HoR, and the GNA are set to start a new round of direct talks in Morocco in two days. The last round saw some progress, according to several sources.
Today Libya appears to be closer than ever to a political settlement between the LNA and the GNA. Pressure from Russia, Turkey as well as the U.S. is forcing both side to compromise.
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