Inclusive political and military talks between Libya's warring parties are to resume next month in Tunisia, the United Nations announced on Saturday.
The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) will be held through a series of online sessions as well as face-to-face meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement.
"The overall objective of the LPDF will be to generate consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements that will lead to the holding of national elections in the shortest possible time frame in order to restore Libya's sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of Libyan institutions," acting U.N. Libya envoy Stephanie Williams said.
The first face-to-face meeting of the forum is to be held in Tunisia in early November.
Ahead of that meeting, the mission plans to bring together participants for preparatory video conferences, starting on Oct. 26.
Face-to-face talks between delegations of a joint military commission made up of five officers from each side are to be held in Geneva starting on Oct. 19.
The head of the U.N.-backed government, Fayez Sarraj, in August called for a cease-fire and the demilitarization of the Sirte and Jufra areas. Aguila Saleh, the speaker of the eastern-based House of Representatives, which backs putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar, supported Sarraj’s proposal for demilitarizing Sirte, but he did not mention Jufra, which includes a vital military air base held by Haftar.
However, on Aug. 27, the Libyan Army announced the first breach of the cease-fire by the militias, which fired more than a dozen Grad rockets at army positions west of Sirte.
Prior to the cease-fire, fighting stalled around the central Mediterranean port of Sirte, the gateway to Libya's eastern oil fields and export terminals, and to the key Jufra air base to the south.
Last week, Libyan Defense Minister Salah Eddine al-Namrush said Haftar's militias are preparing to attack the Bani Walid, Giryan and Tarhuna regions.
In a tweet, al-Namrush said the Libyan Army is adhering to the cease-fire that is supported by the international community, yet they are ready to retaliate against continuing violations by Haftar's militias.
“The Libyan Army is supporting the continuing political process by adhering to the cease-fire. Because we desire to back the political process and the building of a civilian, democratic state,” he continued, adding that warlord Haftar has violated the cease-fire repeatedly.
NOC lifts force majeure on Sharara oilfield
As political efforts for peace continue, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said it was lifting the force majeure on Sharara oil field from Sunday.
NOC said in a statement it had given directions to the operator Acacus company to start production arrangements, taking into consideration public safety and process safety standards.
The NOC, responsible for the extraction, processing, distribution and export of the Maghreb country’s oil, previously reported multiple times that oil production has plunged significantly since forces loyal to Haftar launched a blockade. The blockade has also cut off revenue for state institutions operating across the country. The oil facilities were occupied by Russian Wagner Group's mercenaries and militia affiliated with Haftar.
With the lifting of the force majeure, the oilfield will have initial production of 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) when it comes back online, a Libyan source said to Reuters.
Total Libyan oil output will reach 355,000 bpd on Monday, the source added.
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