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Fourth round of Libyan Joint Military Commission talks start in Geneva

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 16: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends foreign ministers' meeting to discuss recent efforts for cease-fire in Libya as part of Berlin Process in Munich, Germany on February 16, 2020. ( Cem Özdel - Anadolu Agency )
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends foreign ministers' meeting to discuss recent efforts for cease-fire in Libya as part of Berlin Process in Munich, Germany on February 16, 2020 [Cem Özdel - Anadolu Agency]

The fourth round of the Libyan (5+5) Joint Military Commission (JMC) talks started Monday morning at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, with the participation of Stephanie Williams, head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

The work of this committee (i.e. the security track) is one of the three tracks which UNSMIL is working to develop, along with the economic and political aspects which emerged from the 2020 Berlin Conference on Libya.

The outcomes of the Berlin Conference were adopted by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2510 (2020), which calls on the warring parties to establish a permanent ceasefire in the country.

UNSMIL said in a statement that the highlight of the fourth round of talks will be the direct meeting between delegations from both sides.

READ: Pandemic kills 30 in Oman, 26 in Libya

The meeting was initiated with the Libyan national anthem, followed by opening speeches delivered by Williams and heads of the two delegations.

This round of talks will continue until 24 October. UNSMIL hopes that the two delegations will reach a solution to all outstanding issues in order to achieve a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire.

The UN body repeated the call made by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 23 March, to establish a global ceasefire, while urging all warring parties to put feelings of mistrust and hostility aside and halt all acts of violence, according to the statement.

UNSMIL also praised the efforts made by the leaders of both sides to facilitate this round of talks, and thanked the members of both delegations for being present in Geneva despite the unusual circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The German Ambassador to Libya, Oliver Owcza, welcomed the start of the fourth round of the JMC negotiations.

Owcza tweeted: "We welcome and encourage the parties to seize the opportunity to negotiate the establishment of a comprehensive ceasefire."

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