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Can Libya be turned around and become Russia's 'second Syria'?

Russia took an opportunity to mediate between the warring parties in Libya only to see Khalifa Hifter turn his back on Moscow's initiative — perhaps, just for now.
Libyan National Army (LNA) members, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, head out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli, in Benghazi, Libya April 7, 2019. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori - RC1A261C5320

Russia has failed to broker a compromise between Libya’s two warring parties, the Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj and the Libyan National Army headed by Khalifa Hifter. The military commander left Moscow without signing a cease-fire agreement initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Hifter’s rejection of the deal means, above all, that this is just the beginning of a long journey. Despite its preference for a low-profile approach until recently, Russia has officially entered the playing field to resolve the Libyan conflict and the first setback will hardly make it leave the game. This is all the more so because Hifter’s departure from Moscow with no deal signed is a personal challenge for Putin.

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