Thu. May 6th, 2021

E.U. warns against foreign interference in Libya

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The European Union has warned against foreign inference in Libya.

E.U. statement comes a day after forces loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar said they had taken control of large parts of the coastal city of Sirte.

Foreign Ministers from the U.K., France, Germany and Italy have warned “external actors” to stay out of the Libyan conflict, urging the warring factions to “return to negotiations.”

In a joint statement released on Tuesday, the three ministers said the Libyan crisis would not be solved by a military intervention, adding that such a move would only worsen the situation.

“All the members of the international community need to strictly respect and enforce the UN arms embargo. Continuing outside interference is fueling the crisis. The more the Libyan warring parties rely on foreign military assistance, the more they give external actors undue influence on sovereign Libyan decisions, to the detriment of the country’s national interests and of regional stability,” the statement read.

The statement comes a day after forces loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar said they had taken control of large parts of the coastal city of Sirte.

Last week, Turkey’s parliament approved the deployment of troops into the North African country to support the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). This move raised concerns among various actors within the international community who also called for dialogue to end the fighting.

Libya has been dogged by war since December 2011, and the situation heightened in early 2019 when self-styled Gen. Hafter pledged to take over Tripoli from the U.N.-backed government led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

Hafter announced in early December a final push to take Tripoli from Sarraj’s government, unleashing heavy clashes on the southern edges of the city.

Since 2011, the Libyan war has killed thousands and displaced millions as militant groups and human trafficking cells sought to impose their command in various regions across the country.

Earlier this week, France and Egypt called for the “greatest restraint” by Libyan and international authorities to avoid an escalation of the conflict that has rocked the country for months.

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