First round of Libya’s Geneva 5+5 Joint Military Talks end with consensus on truce and need to continue negotiations

By Sami Zaptia.

London, 10 February 2020:

The first round of the UN-brokered talks of the Libyan 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) in Geneva, which had started on Monday 3 February, concluded Friday afternoon, UNSMIL reported.

UNSMIL said that the Commission constitutes one of the three intra-Libyan tracks it is organizing, along with the economic and political tracks.

UNSMIL expressed its appreciation to both sides for ‘‘coming to Geneva, for upholding in earnest the responsibilities they had been entrusted with as well as for the professional and positive spirit that characterized their discussions’’.

It took note of the ‘‘existing consensus around the importance of maintaining the truce that had been announced on 12 January this year, of the necessity to respect it and refrain from violating it’’.

It also ‘‘noted the widespread consensus between both sides with regard to the urgency for Libyans to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country; protect its borders; protect national decision-making process and resources from any foreign interference; stop the flow of non-Libyan fighters and send them out of the country; and to continue the fight against the UN-identified terrorist groups (al-Qaeda, ISIS, Ansar al-Sharia).

Both sides expressed their support to ongoing exchanges of prisoners, returns of mortal remains the and welcomed the support of the UN Mission in this process, whenever the need arises. Both sides affirmed that the existing committee in charge of this file constitutes an added value in support of the 5+5 Commission’s meetings in Geneva.

While both sides agree to the need to expedite the return of Internally Displaced Persons to their homes, particularly in the areas affected by clashes, a full understanding could not be reached on optimal ways to restore normalcy to these areas.

As both sides agreed to the need to continue the negotiations in order to reach a comprehensive ceasefire agreement, UNSMIL has proposed 18 February 2020, as the date for a new round of talks of the 5+5 JMC, in Geneva’’, UNSMIL reported.

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