Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has said it will boycott talks on the conflict in the North African country to be held by Arab League foreign ministers in the coming days.
Foreign minister Mohamed Taher Siala told the bloc’s executive council on Friday that the planned meeting would “merely deepen the rift” between Arab governments on the conflict, his ministry said.
The talks, to be held by videoconference because of coronavirus-related concerns, were called for by Egypt, a key supporter of eastern-based renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar.
Siala complained there had been no prior consultation with his government, even though the meeting concerned Libya, and said the virtual format of the meeting was not appropriate for addressing the thorny issues involved.
The GNA has been on the ascendancy since its Turkish-backed forces defeated a year-long offensive by Haftar’s loyalists against the capital earlier this month and drove them out of western Libya.
Egypt responded with a peace initiative that was welcomed by fellow Haftar supporters the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, but was widely viewed as a bid to buy time for Haftar’s force to regroup.
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