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UN envoy to Reuters: Libya ceasefire talks are going in the right direction

The Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame has indicated that ceasefire talks between Libya’s warring sides are going in the “right direction”.

Salame told Reuters, after the 5+5 military commission talks resumed on Friday, that he expected political-level talks to convene in the Swiss city on February 26 but was already working on confidence-building measures.

He explained that the UNSMIL is trying to make air travel a bit safer in Libya especially from Mitiga in Tripoli as well as Misrata.

“We are also trying to reopen the port to be a safe harbour, and we are trying to help in an exchange of prisoners between the parties.” Salame added.

Asked about Khalifa Haftar’s preconditions and whether the other side was prepared to accept such demands, Salame said he thought that those demands were reasonable and were viewed as reasonable by the other party as well.

“The whole question is when, where, and what is the quid pro quo? That’s what the negotiation is about.” He remarked.

The UN envoy said Salame said he was still conducting shuttle talks with separate sessions with the GNA and Haftar’s military officials, rather than trying to bring them together.

He indicated that the UNSMIL is certainly firm in its determination to launch the political process the way it did with the economic and the military talks.

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