Putin in Talks to Push for Libya Ceasefire as Deadline Nears

Anatoly Medetsky
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Putin in Talks to Push for Libya Ceasefire as Deadline Nears

(Bloomberg) -- President Vladimir Putin pushed for a ceasefire in Libya as he held talks with some of the countries that support the warring sides in the North African nation.

Putin spoke on the phone with Mohammed Bin Zayed, deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates armed forces, and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Kremlin said on Saturday. That followed a conversation with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Friday.

Russia and Turkey, which backs opposite sides in the Libyan conflict, earlier this week called for a truce to start at midnight on Jan. 12. United Nations-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has agreed to suspend hostilities, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saturday, according to Russian news service RIA Novosti. Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar rejected the proposal, Ahmed al-Mismari, a spokesman, said in a statement.

OPEC member Libya is divided between competing administrations after a 2011 NATO-backed uprising ousted Muammar Qaddafi. Their conflict has turned into an increasingly deadly proxy war between regional powers.

(Updates lead to show countries support warring sides.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Anatoly Medetsky in Moscow at amedetsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net, Rene Vollgraaff, James Amott

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