TRIPOLI, Libya

The head of Libya’s High State Council on Monday discussed cease-fire initiatives in Libya with Italy’s foreign minister.

A council statement said that during a meeting in Tripoli, Khalid al-Mishri discussed with Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio “developments in the political and military situation in the country.”

The topic of “the proposed cease-fire initiatives and the chances of resuming the political dialogue [within the Libyan parties]” was discussed as well.

According to the statement, the meeting touched on “Italy’s role in pushing the political process forward.”

On Aug. 21, the Presidential Council of Libya’s UN-recognized government and the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, which supports warlord Khalifa Haftar, agreed to an immediate cease-fire. Their two statements shared common points, most notably the truce and holding of presidential and parliamentary elections.

But Haftar has since been accused of violating the cease-fire.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country’s new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by forces loyal to Haftar.

The UN recognizes the government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj as the country’s legitimate authority, as Tripoli has battled Haftar’s militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

Turkey continues to support the internationally recognized government, while Haftar has been backed by Russia, France, Egypt, and the UAE.

* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara.

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