The outcome of the meeting between the two sides in early February was an agreement on several principles, including the defence of Libyan territory, Libya`s independence from international interference, opposition to « terrorist groups identified by the United Nations (Al-Qaeda, IS, Ansar al-Sharia) » and support for the role of an existing UNSMIL committee in the exchange of prisoners and the return of prisoners. The two sides agreed to continue negotiations for a « comprehensive ceasefire agreement. » The Mission proposed on February 18 for the next roundtable.  Two preliminary events laid the groundwork for a formal ceasefire: a Russian-brokered agreement between a member of the Tripoli government and a member of the rival pro-Haftar government to end the oil blockade, and a successful meeting of military officers from Libya`s warring parties, organized by Egypt at the end of September. [fn] On 28 and 29 September 2020, police officers and the GNA and LNA army gathered in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada for talks supported by the UN support mission in Libya (UNSUL). They agreed to exchange prisoners, resume flights and reopen land roads and renew personal interviews with the Joint Military Commission 5-5. « Security and Military Direct Talks between Libyan Parties in Hurghada, Egypt conclude with Important Recommendations, » press release, UNSMIL, 29 September 2020. On 20 September, Ahmed Meitig, a member of the GNA Presidential Council in Tripoli, and the Deputy Finance Minister of the Eastern Government, Morajea Geith, in Sochi, Russia, signed an agreement to lift the blockade of oil facilities. The agreement remains highly controversial; Many Tripoli politicians continue to reject their conditions, including the establishment of a joint committee to use the payment of oil revenues. The 23 October agreement formally made the informal ceasefire that both sides have observed since August. It obliges the parties to end all hostilities with immediate effect. [fn] »A Complete and Sustainable Ceasefire agreement in Libya, » 23 October 2020. The text was circulated on Twitter, including the tweet of Muhammad Bushaqma, journalist, @boshqma, 7:06, 23 October 2020.Hide Footnote On 17 December 2017, General Khalifa Haftar cancelled the Skhirat agreement.  It has been a long time, but the ceasefire agreement for Libya, signed on 23 October in Geneva, is a welcome development, a step towards broader political talks and a way out of the war.
The agreement between representatives of the Tripoli National Agreement (GNA) government and Khalifa Haftar`s Libyan National Army (LNA) could, if honoured, be a « fundamental step towards peace and stability, » in the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. But the text of the agreement gives way to different interpretations, misunderstandings and/or a deliberate reworking of terms to serve the interests of one of the parties – or foreign benefactors. Preventing a destructive game of guilt and dissolving the agreement should be a top priority for the parties to the Libyan conflict. Fourth, the agreement outlines important confidence-building measures, such as the reopening of roads in central Liby and the resumption of flights between Benghazi and Tripoli.