The fighting intensified on April 20 at the gates of Tripoli (pictured) after the forces loyal to the National Unity Government (GNA) announced an “attack phase” against Marshal Khalifa Haftar‘s troops set to liberate the Libyan capital from terrorist groups.
The troops of the Libyan National Army (ANL) of Marshal Haftar, the strongman of the east of the country, launched on April 4 a counter-terrorist operation to defeat terrorist groups, ravaging the west of the country.
Italy and France have intensified efforts to end conflict in Libya, Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said after meeting his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Rome on April 19.
“Naturally we talked about the situation in Libya, which is worrying and holds the attention of both our governments,” Moavero explained at a joint press conference with Le Drian. “Our position, an absolutely joint one, is that a ceasefire must be achieved as soon as possible”.
Le Drian underlined that cease-fire and return to negociations are paramount.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu have reaffirmed their commitment to assist Libyan conflict settlement the Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) said. The agreement was reach during a telephone conversation on April 18.
Diplomats have exchanged opinions on the situation in Libya, expressing “concern over a serious escalation of the situation due to unceasing clashes between various armed groups in Tripoli that have led to numerous casualties.”
“Russian side stressed that the profound crisis that enveloped Libya is a direct consequence of NATO’s 2011 intervention,” Russian Minister underlined.
Russian and Turkish diplomacy have confirmed their mutual commitment to enhance the negociations over the ceasefire and peace between the conflicting sides strictly through political-diplomatic dialogue on the basis of the UN Libya Action Plan.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt need of peace and stability in Libya as “global priority“. Both top diplomats reaffirmed their commitment to continued diplomatic efforts in Libya aiming at return to political process.
White House informed that President Donald Trump had a telephone conversation with Libyan Commander Khalifa Haftar and discussed “ongoing counter terrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya.”
The telephone call took place on April 15, Monday, however it was announced by the administration only by the end of the week.
Commander Haftar has double US and Libyan citizenship.
President Trump “recognized Field Marshal Haftar‘s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system,” the White House said in its official readout of the call.
Hospitals near Libyan capital Tripoli have reported 47 people dead and 181 wounded in last few days since troops under Commander Khalifa Haftar announced counter-terrorist operation.
Commander Haftar reportedly told the UN chief that his operation towards Tripoli will continue until terrorism has been defeated. Haftar‘s forces said they had lost at least 19 fighters.
However till present Haftar has not announced any long-term plan apart from eliminating terrorism, ravaging Tripoli.
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the G7 are calling on Marshal Khalifa Haftar to halt the advancement of troops on Libya capital Tripoli. (Image above: illustration).
After a closed-door emergency meeting on situation in Libya, the UNSC warned that those responsible for reigniting the conflict would be held to account.
The UN Security Council addressed their call to the Commander Haftar, while ongoing fighting has been reported in Tripoli‘s international airport( 30 km south of the capital).
German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, who holds the Council presidency called on Libyan National Army (LNA) forces led by Commander Haftar to “halt all military movements” and “on all forces to de-escalate military activity“.
The call of the UNSC is in direct contradiction with the decision of the Tobruk Parliament, endorsing the advancement of the troops on Tripoli to “eliminate terrorists“, who keep hostage the peaceful development of the country. The same message has been delivered by the Commander himself in talks with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Libyan capital has been suffering numerous terrorist attacks, including explosion and burning down of the governmental buildings.
Meanwhile in social media there are new photographs and reports published, illustrating further advancement of Commander Haftar troops, including taking control over Tripoli Airport.