The addition of NATO as a third set of combatants in the Libyan Civil War is making the prospect of a ceasefire agreement considerably more complex. Still, UN Special Envoy Abdul-Ilah al-Khatib’s efforts in Tripoli were not entirely a failure.
Rather, Khatib’s call for a ceasefire between the Gadhafi regime and the East Libyan rebels was met with conditional support from the country’s foreign minister and vice president.
Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi said the regime would agree to the immediate ceasefire provided NATO stopped its air strikes and agreed to international observers to confirm the ceasefire.
Regime officials have repeatedly agreed to past calls for a ceasefire, including a transition to UN-supervised elections. The East Libyan rebels have rejected such offers in the past, but might be increasingly open as it seems the war has fallen into a permanent stalemate.
NATO is the big sticking point, however, as a number of top officials have ruled out ever ending the bombing campaign. Indeed, NATO military brass are calling for the further escalation of the war, and don’t seem particularly concerned about the prospect of years of bloody stalemate.