Libya's strongman Khalifa Haftar has left Moscow without signing a ceasefire agreement, which would have ended the nine-month-long fighting in the country. Haftar had asked for time until the evening of January 13 after hours of negotiations between Russia and Turkey, but then reportedly took an abrupt departure on the morning of January 14. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had first brokered the Libya Truce deal with the Russian President Vladimir Putin who has already warned Haftar's army against ceasefires.
However, Russian foreign ministry, which initially had lauded the 'progress' in talks with Libya, reportedly said that it is still working with the concerned parties to find an agreement. Even though a 'definitive result' has not been achieved, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow will 'pursue efforts' in the same direction. General Haftar and his allies were in Moscow on January 13 for talks with the UN-recognised government based in Tripoli and headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.
Sarraj's government has been under attack since last April from forces loyal to the general who is reportedly based in the east of the oil-rich north African country with his own politicians. The deal, which has now been snubbed by Haftar had outlined the terms of a permanent truce in Libya. Most of the parties had already signed the deal including Sarraj. However, Haftar who leads the Libyan National Army is a key guarantor of the rival eastern government's power.
The Civil War in Libya is increasingly gaining international attention and intervention. The Tripoli-based government led by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj has released a statement expressing its full support of any serious calls for the resumption of the political process and the elimination of the spectre of war. The calls for a stop to the fighting came amid a flurry of diplomatic activity by European powers on Wednesday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin released a joint statement after a meeting in Istanbul calling for a January 12 ceasefires to the battles between forces loyal to Sarraj's government and the eastern-based Libyan National Army, commanded by ex-general Khalifa Hifter.