MOSCOW (Reuters) - Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, has left Moscow without signing a ceasefire agreement drafted at talks in Russia on Monday, the TASS news agency cited the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying on Tuesday.
Haftar had asked for until Tuesday morning to make up his mind on the deal after indirect talks with his rival, Fayez al-Serraj, who heads Libya’s Tripoli-based internationally recognised government, Turkey’s foreign minister said.
His failure to sign the agreement at talks mediated by Turkey and Russia may complicate a diplomatic effort to stabilise the situation in Libya which has been mired in chaos since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she planned to host a summit on Libya on Sunday with the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Italy.
Serraj, whose forces have struggled to halt an assault on Tripoli by Haftar’s LNA, signed the ceasefire agreement after talks that lasted about eight hours, Lavrov said on Monday.
Haftar declined to sign the ceasefire deal because it did not include a deadline for disbanding government forces, the Interfax news agency cited a Libyan military source as saying.
Turkey backs Haftar’s rival, Serraj, while Russian military contractors have been deployed alongside Haftar’s LNA forces, which are also backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan.
Reporting by Tom Balmforth/Maria Kiselyova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn
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