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World powers demand end to Libya military campaign

April 6, 2019

The G7, UN and Russia have all called for strongman Khalifa Haftar to stop his march on Tripoli. However, an upcoming peace conference is still set to go ahead.

A truck carries military equipment in Libya
Image: Reuters/I. Zitouny

The G7 group of major economies said it will not accept Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar's move on Tripoli, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Saturday. The UN Security Council has also called for an end to the campaign, and Russia has also pushed for dialogue between the warring factions in Libya.

G7 top diplomats were meeting in France to discuss, among other things, the ongoing crisis that has engulfed Libya since a popular uprising and NATO-led strikes that ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Now, there are two rival governments in Libya: the UN-backed administration in Tripoli led by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj, and a government in the east supported by Haftar.

"They need now to overcome their past differences in the interest of the Libyan people. The Libyan people have had enough of this violence," said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

The group called for the parties attending the peace conference scheduled for April 14-16 to come up with a plan for a peaceful transition to nationwide elections.

Haftar pushed back

Moscow agreed that Haftar should cease his march on Tripoli, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying "we call on all Libyan parties and powers to start dialogue without prior conditions."

However, he also blamed the conflict on NATO for helping get rid of Gadhafi.

On Friday, Haftar's forces, which are believed to enjoy the support of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, were pushed back from a key checkpoint they had taken west of Tripoli.

es/jlw (AFP, dpa)

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