Libyan Rival Forces Resume Talks 02/18 06:17
GENEVA (AP) -- Libya's warring sides resumed Tuesday U.N.-brokered talks
aimed at salvaging a fragile cease-fire in the North African country, the U.N.
said in Geneva.
The current cease-fire was brokered by Russia and Turkey on Jan. 12. It
marked the first break in months of fighting for control of the Libyan capital,
Tripoli. But both sides have repeatedly violated the cease-fire.
Oil-rich Libya is split between rival governments, each backed by an array
of foreign countries apparently jockeying for influence in order to control
A U.N.-supported but weak administration, led by Prime Minister Fayez
Sarraj, holds only a shrinking area of western Libya, including the capital.
It's been fending off an offensive since last April by forces loyal to Gen.
Khalifa Hifter. The military commander is allied with a rival government that
controls much of Libya's east and south, including key oil fields and export
The U.N. support mission in Libya said five military representatives from
each side have met Tuesday in Geneva, more than a week after they ended their
first round of negotiations without striking a deal that would help end the
fighting in Tripoli.
In the previous round of talks, the U.N. mission said there was "broad
consensus" between the two sides on "the urgency for Libyans to safeguard the
sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the country, and to "stop the flow of
non-Libyan fighters and send them out of the country."
Hifter's forces rely on military assistance from the United Arab Emirates
and Egypt, as well as France and Russia. On the other side, Turkey, Italy and
Qatar support the embattled Tripoli-based government.
Powerful tribes loyal to the eastern the commander Hifter have also largely
stopped the country's oil production, after they seized last month several
large oil export terminals along Libya's eastern coast as well as its southern
The country's National Oil Corporation, which dominates Libya's critical oil
industry and is based in Tripoli, said losses from the oil closures have
reached more than $1.6 billion as of Monday.
The daily oil production has since the closure fallen to 135,745 barrels a
day from about 1.2 million. It put the daily losses at close to $59 million.
Libya has the ninth largest known oil reserves in the world and the biggest
oil reserves in Africa.
The corporation reiterated its warning that the blockade is quickly
depleting fuel that supplies Libyan power stations.
The Geneva talks come amid intensified diplomacy among world powers seeking
to end the conflict that has ravaged Libya for nine years and increasingly
drawn in foreign powers.
European Union foreign ministers agreed Monday to launch a new maritime
effort focused on enforcing the U.N arms embargo around the North African
Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when a civil war toppled long-time
dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was later killed.