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Iran Press TV

UN chief hails Libya ceasefire deal as 'fundamental step' toward peace

Iran Press TV

Friday, 23 October 2020 4:20 PM

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described the permanent ceasefire agreement between warring sides in Libya as a "fundamental step toward peace and stability" in the North African country, which has been the scene of deadly fighting.

Guterres made the remark on Friday after Libya's warring sides agreed on a permanent ceasefire in all areas earlier in the day.

"I appeal to all stakeholders and regional actors to respect the provisions of the ceasefire agreement and ensure its implementation without delay," the UN chief said.

He stressed that there was much hard work ahead, also calling for the full implementation of a UN arms embargo on Libya.

Libya plunged into chaos in 2011 when a popular uprising backed by a NATO intervention led to the ouster of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Since 2014, two rival seats of power have emerged in Libya, namely the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and another group based in the east of the country that is militarily backed by rebels under the command of a military strongman named Khalifa Haftar.

The rebels, who are supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Jordan, launched a deadly offensive to capture the capital, Tripoli, last April. But the government forces repelled that offensive and gained the upper hand against the rebels elsewhere in the country with crucial help from Turkey.

Haftar has violated previous ceasefire agreements with the government.

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