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Libya's Haftar tours Rome and Paris amid military stalemate

Libya’s Haftar tours Rome and Paris amid military stalemate

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Rome (AFP) – Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, who has launched a military offensive against the UN-recognised government in Tripoli, held surprise talks with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Rome on Thursday ahead of a visit to Paris next week, officials said.” data-reactid=”22″>Rome (AFP) – Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, who has launched a military offensive against the UN-recognised government in Tripoli, held surprise talks with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Rome on Thursday ahead of a visit to Paris next week, officials said.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Conte said he urged Haftar halt his attack on the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, who also travelled to Rome and Paris for talks last week.” data-reactid=”23″>Conte said he urged Haftar halt his attack on the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, who also travelled to Rome and Paris for talks last week.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”It was a fairly long meeting, a lengthy exchange of information, Conte told journalists. I informed him of the government’s position.

We want a ceasefire and we feel that the political path is the only solution.” data-reactid=”24″>”It was a fairly long meeting, a lengthy exchange of information,” Conte told journalists.

“I informed him of the government’s position. We want a ceasefire and we feel that the political path is the only solution.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Conte said last week that he wanted to meet Haftar after his talks with Sarraj.” data-reactid=”25″>Conte said last week that he wanted to meet Haftar after his talks with Sarraj.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”The Libyan military chief, whose forces control large swathes of the country’s east, will travel next week to Paris for talks with President Emmanuel Macron, his office said.” data-reactid=”26″>The Libyan military chief, whose forces control large swathes of the country’s east, will travel next week to Paris for talks with President Emmanuel Macron, his office said.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”The goal will be to discuss the situation in Libya and the conditions for resuming a political dialogue in conjunction with the UN and our partners, an Elysee Palace official said.” data-reactid=”27″>”The goal will be to discuss the situation in Libya and the conditions for resuming a political dialogue in conjunction with the UN and our partners,” an Elysee Palace official said.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”France and Italy are the two lead European powers seeking to find a solution to years of instability, spreading Islamic extremism and a migrant crisis in Libya which fell into chaos after the NATO-backed toppling of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.” data-reactid=”28″>France and Italy are the two lead European powers seeking to find a solution to years of instability, spreading Islamic extremism and a migrant crisis in Libya which fell into chaos after the NATO-backed toppling of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”But the neighbours are seen by experts as also competing for influence and the issue has caused tensions between the governments.” data-reactid=”29″>But the neighbours are seen by experts as also competing for influence and the issue has caused tensions between the governments.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Sarraj, who is seen as being close to Rome, has accused France of supporting dictator Haftar’s campaign against his internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).” data-reactid=”30″>Sarraj, who is seen as being close to Rome, has accused France of supporting “dictator” Haftar’s campaign against his internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Paris has rejected the claims, saying it supports Sarraj but also considers Haftar a key player in rebuilding Libya after years of strife.” data-reactid=”31″>Paris has rejected the claims, saying it supports Sarraj but also considers Haftar a key player in rebuilding Libya after years of strife.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Macron met Sarraj in Paris on May 8 and on that occasion reaffirmed French support both for the prime minister and for an unconditional ceasefire.” data-reactid=”32″>Macron met Sarraj in Paris on May 8 and on that occasion “reaffirmed” French “support” both for the prime minister and for an “unconditional ceasefire.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Some observers see France‘s stance as ambiguous, however, given that Paris in the past has supplied military intelligence to Haftar in eastern and southern Libya.” data-reactid=”33″>Some observers see France‘s stance as ambiguous, however, given that Paris in the past has supplied military intelligence to Haftar in eastern and southern Libya.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Faced with the growing power of Islamic State in eastern Libya, France has made a strategic choice for some years. She has resolved to discreetly support Khalifa Haftar to try to reduce the terrorist threat, said Thomas Hoffnung, a journalist and specialist on African affairs.

” data-reactid=”34″>”Faced with the growing power of Islamic State in eastern Libya, France has made a strategic choice for some years. She has resolved to discreetly support Khalifa Haftar to try to reduce the terrorist threat,” said Thomas Hoffnung, a journalist and specialist on African affairs.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”France has furthermore given the impression in recent years of compromising herself with an apprentice dictator, suggested former French ambassador to Syria and advisor to the Institut Montaigne think-tank Michel Duclos.” data-reactid=”35″>France has furthermore “given the impression in recent years of compromising herself with an apprentice dictator,” suggested former French ambassador to Syria and advisor to the Institut Montaigne think-tank Michel Duclos.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Haftar’s bid to unseat Sarraj and take control of the Libyan capital has reached a military and political impasse after more than a month of fighting.” data-reactid=”36″>Haftar’s bid to unseat Sarraj and take control of the Libyan capital has reached a military and political impasse after more than a month of fighting.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”After an initial advance, forces loyal to the GNA launched a counter-offensive that has led to a stalemate on the ground.” data-reactid=”37″>After an initial advance, forces loyal to the GNA launched a counter-offensive that has led to a stalemate on the ground.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”The fighting has killed at least 430 people and wounded over 2,000 while displacing 55,000 others, according to UN estimates.” data-reactid=”38″>The fighting has killed at least 430 people and wounded over 2,000 while displacing 55,000 others, according to UN estimates.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”The European Union on Monday called for all sides in the conflict to put down their arms and commit to UN talks, saying the offensive was a threat to international peace.” data-reactid=”39″>The European Union on Monday called for all sides in the conflict to put down their arms and commit to UN talks, saying the offensive was a threat to international peace.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”The situation in Libya is very worrying because the roadmap proposed by the United Nations has been jeopardised by both the move by Marshal Haftar and by the move, or non-move by Prime Minister Sarraj, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers on Tuesday.” data-reactid=”40″>”The situation in Libya is very worrying because the roadmap proposed by the United Nations has been jeopardised by both the move by Marshal Haftar and by the move, or non-move by Prime Minister Sarraj,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers on Tuesday.

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