The US State Department said on Tuesday that it does not condone, support or assist General Khalifa Haftar’s recent actions in Libya. “We did not condone or support the actions on the ground, and nor have we assisted with these actions,” insisted spokesperson Jen Psaki during her daily briefing in Washington DC. She claimed that the US had had no contact with Haftar for more than three weeks.
Calling on all parties to “refrain from violence and to seek resolution through peaceful means, including a range of mechanisms to achieve this through the international community”, Psaki pointed out that US officials have been in contact with the interim government in Libya. Former Ambassador David Satterfield has just returned from Libya after holding several meetings with officials in the capital Tripoli.
The State Department spokesperson said that the US has been monitoring events in Libya closely over the last couple of days and pointed out that “many of the challenges in Libya require dialogue”, which America believes is the best way to move forward.
Psaki pointed out that her country and several allies including Britain support the political transition in Libya that has occurred since the overthrow and killing of President Muammar Gaddafi.
Clashes erupted in the city of Benghazi last Friday between rebels loyal to General Haftar and militants affiliated with the Libyan Army in an attempt to take control of the city. The Ministry of Health said that 75 people were killed in the fighting, with 136 wounded.