Thursday, 9/4/2020 | 1:00 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Update: UN tries to salvage Libya talks after government announces pullout

GENEVA The United Nations tried to salvage talks over a ceasefire for Libya after the government based in Tripoli said it was pulling out after a single day to protest against the shelling of the capitals port.

Talks began on Tuesday in Geneva between the internationally recognized Tripoli government and its main rivals the eastern-based Libya National Army (LNA) which has been trying to take the capital.

Late on Tuesday the government said it would suspend its participation after the LNA shelled Tripoli port in the latest of several strategic plays by troops loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar that have coincided with attempts to ease tensions.

U.N. Libya envoy Ghassan Salame was trying to convince the Tripoli delegation to stay in Geneva and resume indirect talks a source close to the talks said and the United Nations confirmed.

Delegations are still here (in Geneva) and Dr. Salame has a meeting with the head of the GNA delegation said Jean El Alam spokesman for the United Nations Libya mission referring to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord. The mission leadership is in contact with the GNA in Tripoli and member states to keep the momentum going.

In a separate statement the U.N. mission said it was expressing its strong and renewed condemnation of the bombing of Tripolis seaport by the Libyan National Army.

There was no immediate comment from either side. Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu met with Haftar and they agreed a political settlement is the only option for Libya RIA news agency said on Wednesday.

The Geneva meetings have so far been held in different rooms with Salame shuttling between the parties. Another round of talks is scheduled for next week in Geneva.

The port is the main entry gate for wheat fuel and other imports for Tripoli and has also been used by Turkey to send military trucks and other equipment to its government allies.