İrem UZUN -TDO- Egypt’s president has announced an initiative to end nearly a civil war in Libya. It has been accepted by Khalifa Haftar, commander of Libya's eastern forces that have suffered heavy losses in recent weeks. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said a ceasefire will start on Monday and is meant to pave the way for elections. He called for peace talks in Geneva and the exit of all foreign fighters from Libya.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi warned in a news conference in Cairo against continuing to look for a military solution to the country’s crisis. “There can be no stability in Libya unless peaceful means to the crisis are found that include the unity and integrity of the national institutions,” el-Sisi said. “The initiative could be a new start in Libya.” The UAE swiftly expressed its support for the Egyptian initiative. “The Emirates declares its support for the good Egyptian efforts calling for an immediate ceasefire in Libya,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-Operation said from the official Twitter account of the Ministry.

There was no immediate comment from the UN-supported government based in Tripoli, but a spokesman for the military forces allied with it said they would continue fighting to capture the city of Sirte, east of Tripoli, which Commander Khalifa Haftar’s east-based forces took in January. Spokesman Mohamed Gnono said Tripoli-allied forces took control of the town of al-Washka, east of the important port city of Misrata. "We did not start this war, but it is we who will determine when and where it will end," he said.

The conference in Cairo was attended by Haftar and its ally Aguila Saleh, speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives. Several foreign diplomats, including U.S., Russian, French and Italian envoys, also attended. There were no representatives of the Tripoli-based administration or its main backers, Turkey and Qatar, at the conference.

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