The Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar welcomes the ceasefire initiative by Russia and Turkey, but will continue the fight for Tripoli, the LNA commander said in a statement on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Russia and Turkey agreed on a common position with respect to a Libya settlement, and presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on all parties to cease fire from January 12.
“The LNA command welcomes the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the president of the friendly Russian state, aimed at establishing peace … but declares that the efforts of the armed forces in the war against terrorist groups will continue,” the statement said.
Earlier, AFP reported Haftar rejected calls for a ceasefire by Turkey and Russia.
Last week, the Turkish parliament approved Erdogan’s initiative to send troops to Libya following an official request by the Tripoli-based UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), which is currently trying to repel the LNA offensive to capture Tripoli.
On 12 December, Haftar announced the beginning of a decisive battle in his campaign to seize Tripoli.
Libya has been in a state of a civil war since its longtime leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was ousted and killed in 2011. Since then, political power in the country has been split between two rival governments: the Council of Deputies based in Tobruk and the Tripoli-based General National Congress. Following the signing of a UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement in December 2015, a Government of National Accord was established in the country and started working in late March 2016.