Libyan PM indicates commitment to dialogue with rival force — UN

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

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.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke by telephone on Wednesday with Serraj, said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman.

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

Guterres expressed his shock at the recent discovery of mass graves in Libya and stated that the United Nations was ready to assist in efforts to ensure accountability, he said.

Guterres reiterated the support of the United Nations 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 secretary-general reaffirmed the full commitment of the United Nations 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.