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UN hails new Libya ceasefire agreement
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 10 - 2020

Libya's warring sides have signed an agreement for "a permanent ceasefire in all areas of Libya", the UN Support Mission in the country (UNSMIL) said on Friday in a ceremony here to sign the agreement.
Hailing the ceasefire agreement, the UN mission termed it as a courageous act that can help secure "a better, safer, and more peaceful future for all the Libyan people".
"I would like to salute you because what you have accomplished here takes a great deal of courage", said UNSMIL chief and Acting Special Representative of the UN secretary-general Stephanie Williams at a press conference here. "You have gathered for the sake of Libya, for the sake of your people, to take concrete steps to end their suffering."
The country has been roiled by division and conflict, since the overthrow of the former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011. Supporters of the Tripoli-based Government of National Alliance have been under siege for months, following an offensive by forces of the rival administration of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Commander Khalifa Haftar.
UN-led mediation by the 5+5 Joint Military Commission, representing the two sides, yielded Friday's agreement, that Williams said could help secure "a better, safer, and more peaceful future for all the Libyan people.
"I salute your sense of responsibility and your commitment to preserving Libya's unity and reasserting its sovereignty", she said of the accord.
She said the two sides had come together first and foremost, as Libyans, together: "The road was long and difficult at times, but your patriotism has been your guide all the time, and you have succeeded in concluding an agreement for a successful and lasting ceasefire."
I hope that this agreement will contribute to ending the suffering of the Libyan people and enabling the displaced, both outside and inside the country, to return to their homes and live in peace and security."
The UNSMIL head said the agreement "represents an important distinguishing mark for Libya and the Libyan people. I very much hope that future generations of Libyans will celebrate today's agreement, as it represents that decisive and courageous first step towards a comprehensive settlement of the Libyan crisis that followed."
Williams said there was "much work ahead in the coming days and weeks to implement the commitments contained in this agreement" adding that it was important to continue focused negotiations, "as quickly as possible in order to alleviate the many hardships that this conflict has caused to the Libyan people."
She said she knew that the Libyan people "can count on you" and added that "the United Nations is with you and the people of Libya. We will do our utmost to ensure that the international community lends its full and unwavering support to you."


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