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Libya’s warring factions agree to allow transport across the country

Libya Map

The UN Libya envoy, Stephanie Williams said Officers from Libya’s warring sides have agreed to open up land and air transport routes across the country.

She announced this on Wednesday at a new round of military talks in Geneva.

The envoys representing Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and military strongman Khalifa Haftar also agreed that they would work on a plan to secure and increase oil production in the petroleum-rich country.

Williams said these confidence-building steps made her feel optimistic about negotiating a lasting ceasefire, which is the main goal of the military talks that will continue this week in the Swiss UN city.

“From what I have seen in the room in these direct talks, there is an air of seriousness and commitment,” she told a press conference.

Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Moamer Gaddafi and has become a battleground for rival proxy forces that has drawn in foreign powers.

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The UN-recognized Tripoli government of Prime Minister al-Serraj is being backed by Turkey, while forces in the east of the country under Haftar are supported by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

“The degree of foreign intervention and foreign interference in Libya is unacceptable. These countries need to take their hands off of Libya,” Williams said, without naming any countries.

In addition to the military talks in Geneva, the UN is planning to resume inclusive political talks, starting with preparatory online meeting on Monday.

In-person meetings are set to start in Tunis on November 9.

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