HCS calls on Sarraj to present guarantees for successful dialogue

Head of Libya’s Higher Council of State (HCS) Khalid al-Mishri has welcomed Prime Minister Faiez al-Sarraj’s initiative to break the deadlock in the country’s civil war.

During his speech at the 42nd meeting of HCS on Wednesday, Mishri said the committees of HCS held a meeting to discuss the initiative and make it “achievable.”

He explained that the initiative includes several positive aspects, but is based on “mere wishes,” calling for “real guarantees” for the success of a potential dialogue.

Libya’s U.N.-recognized government in Tripoli has launched a peace initiative which includes a national peace forum followed by simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections to be held by the end of the year.

The plan comes after the U.N.-brokered diplomatic efforts sustained as the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by General Khalifa Haftar, waged a war on the capital.

The European Union welcomed the initiative, emphasizing support for any constructive proposal under the auspices of the United Nations to move the political process in Libya forward and end the conflict and division.

Spokesperson for the EU foreign policy chief, Maya Kosyanchich, said in a statement that Sarraj’s initiative is a step in this direction, stressing that the EU will continue to support the Libyan people and the U.N. mission’s efforts to build lasting peace, and achieve stability and prosperity in the country, according to the statement.

Sarraj’s initiative, although not new as the National Forum was already being prepared for right before the LNA’s operation on April 4, is a departure from his previous stance that only allowed a ceasefire if Haftar withdrew to his barracks prior to his offensive.

Meanwhile, Khaled Mahjoub, head of the Moral Guidance Department at the LNA, told the Russian news agency on Monday a political solution is not an option as long as there are armed groups in Tripoli.

The Tripoli fighting has killed 653 people, including 41 civilians, since April 4, while more than 3,500 have been wounded –– more than a hundred of them civilians –– according to the World Health Organisation.

The U.N. says more than 94,000 have been displaced by the fighting.

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