Libyan PM indicates commitment to dialogue with rival: UN

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj has indicated his commitment to a dialogue within the 5+5 Joint Military Commission and expressed on Wednesdayinterest in a political solution based on elections, said a UN spokesman.

The Joint Military Commission is a mechanism of dialogue between the UN-backed government led by Serraj and the rival east-based Libyan National Army led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar, reports Xinhua news agency.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke on Wednesday with Serraj over the phone, said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman.

Guterres and Serraj discussed the need to reopen blocked oil terminals and oil fields in the country, said Dujarric.

The Secretary-General expressed his shock at the recent discovery of mass graves in Libya and stated that the UN was ready to assist in efforts to ensure accountability, he said.

Guterres reiterated the support of the UN to the government of Libya in its efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic, said the spokesman.

The UN chief also talked with Gen. Haftar on the phone on Wednesday, said the spokesman.

He said the phone call was at the request of Haftar.

On the call between Guterres and Serraj, Dujarric refused to say who took the initiative. It was agreed that they would speak during interactions between Serraj and the secretary-general’s envoy for Libya, he said.

A readout of the phone call between Guterres and Haftar released later on Wednesday said they discussed the current developments in Libya.

Guterres reiterated that there was no military solution to the conflict in Libya. The solution can only be political, and Libyan-owned and Libyan-led.

The UN chief reaffirmed the full commitment of the UN to dialogue within the 5+5 Joint Military Commission, according to the readout.

Guterres expressed his shock at the recent discovery of mass graves and stressed the need for full respect of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

He indicated his commitment to help find a solution to the reopening of blocked oil terminals and oil fields in the country, according to the readout.

The readout did not say what Haftar said in the phone call.

The east-based army has been fighting the UN-backed government troops for more than a year aiming to take control of Tripoli and topple the UN-backed government.

The fighting has killed and injured hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 150,000 others.