US wants foreign intervention in Libya to stop

File photo of fighters n in the Libyan desert. EPA/CIRO FUSCO

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The US has called for an immediate end to foreign intervention in Libya which was only “fuelling the conflict” and undermining peace efforts.

A US State Department official told Arab News on Wednesday that external actors on the ground in Libya needed to stop stoking the situation and support UN special envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, in working toward a political solution to the fighting.

The American official said it was “crucial” that a UN Security Council resolution being discussed in New York was fully backed in order to help bring about a lasting cease-fire in the north African country where forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar have been trying to take the capital, Tripoli.

In the aftermath of the Berlin summit, the US source described Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Haftar as a decisive factor in the Libyan equation and stressed the need for the general to stop oil blockades.

“A number of leaders who were in Berlin later violated the Berlin commitments. They had pledged to support the cease-fire, but some of them later backtracked and continued to fuel the conflict.

“The key here to us and to the UN, is if you don’t stop foreign intervention on the ground, you will never get to political conversations because you are always going to be fueling a conflict,” the official said.

“It is true that in Libya no one comes around a negotiating table, as they think they can achieve military victory so they can get an upper hand in a conflict. So, it is hard for us to try to bring them to a negotiating table. You have to have inducements.

“One of the key things in the particular case of Libya is removing the external support which would help speed up getting both of them — Haftar and Fayez Al-Sarraj, head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) — back to negotiations,” he added.

On French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent accusation that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had violated the Berlin agreement by sending weapons and Syrian fighters to Libya, the official said: “Yes, the Turks have a hand in this, but it is not unique to them.

See also: Reports Turkey deploying Islamic extremists to Libya

Read more via Arab News

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