International concerns regarding Haftar’s announcement to cancel the Skhirat Agreement

The German government has expressed concern over the announcement by Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the so-called “Libyan National Army”, that the Skhirat agreement was canceled.

The agreement was signed in the Moroccan city of Skhirat in December 2015 between several Libyan parties after a war that spanned 2014 and 2015 in the east and west of the country.

On Tuesday, the German Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying: “The conflict in Libya cannot be resolved militarily from the point of view of the German government, nor through unilateral declarations, but rather through a political process with the participation of all regions and groups of the people”.

The Foreign Ministry added that this also requires “an urgent truce”.

Haftar gave a televised speech late Monday evening in which he declared his acceptance of what he called “the Libyan mandate to lead him in the country and to drop the Libyan political agreement”.

He said that the agreement destroyed the country and became “a thing of the past”.

On the other hand, the Presidential Council of the National Accord Government in Libya, which is internationally recognized, announced in a statement issued today that what came in Haftar’s speech is a “farce” and “a craze for power has reached its limit, and a fool has reached its end”.

In its statement, the German Foreign Ministry stated that the international community considers the Skhirat agreement in effect until a final negotiated solution is reached.

The German capital Berlin hosted a summit conference on Libya 100 days ago, with the participation of 16 countries and international organizations, which declared their commitment to ending foreign interference in the Libyan conflict.

However, arms supplies to Libya continued after that, even by some of the participants in the Berlin conference.

For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that Russia does not support the statements made by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the so-called “National Army” in Libya, yesterday.

Russia Today website quoted Lavrov as saying that Russia does not support Haftar’s statements regarding individual rule in his country, adding that Moscow does not have tools to influence Haftar currently.

Lavrov said: “It is not possible to talk about the existence of any pressure tools in Russia…

We are in contact with all the actors in the Libyan crisis without exception…

This includes Field Marshal Haftar, President of the Presidential Council Fayez Al Sarraj and Speaker of Parliament in Tobruk Aqila Saleh, and others Officials, including leaders of the State Council, where many bodies were established in Libya under the Skhirat Agreement in 2015″.

The Kremlin confirmed that Russia continues its contacts with all the parties involved in the political process in Libya, and stressed that resolving the crisis in this country is a diplomatic, not a military, political one.

Today, the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that the Kremlin considers the political and diplomatic track the only way to stability in Libya.

He added: “Moscow remains convinced that the only possible settlement in Libya could be on the path of political and diplomatic communication between all parties, especially the conflicting parties”.

Peskov confirmed that “Russia continues to communicate with all participants in the Libyan operation”.

Haftar announced the withdrawal from the Skhirat political agreement, which resulted in the formation of the national reconciliation government, and announced the acceptance of the popular “mandate” to lead the country in the next stage.