İrem UZUN -TDO- The key two factions in Libya's ongoing conflict have agreed to restart ceasefire talks after a three-month halt, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said late Monday. In a statement, UNSMIL "welcomed" decisions of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and forces backing eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar to accept "restarting negotiations on a ceasefire and the related security arrangements," saying it hoped the talks could pave the way to a lasting truce. 

Pro-Haftar forces have been battling since April last year to seize the capital Tripoli from the UN-recognized GNA, in fighting that has left hundreds dead and forced 200,000 to flee their homes. A military commission made up of five GNA loyalists and five Haftar delegates held talks in February, but the dialogue was suspended.  A January truce brokered by GNA backer Turkey and key Haftar ally Russia has been repeatedly violated. Neither side immediately commented on the UN statement.

Haftar’s rapid advance on Tripoli last year stalled to a bloody stalemate on the edges of the capital. In recent weeks, GNA forces buoyed by Turkish drones and air defense systems have taken back a string of coastal towns and a key airbase, Haftar is supported by neighboring Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as well as Russia.

The UN mission urged “states backing either of the belligerents to respect what was agreed at the Berlin conference” in late January, where world leaders committed to ending all foreign meddling in Libya.

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