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EU official calls for de-escalation in Libya

Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya Fayez al-Sarraj (L) and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini (R) hold a press conference after their meeting in Brussels, Belgium on February 2, 2017 [Dursun Aydemir /Anadolu Agency]
Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya Fayez al-Sarraj (L) and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini (R) hold a press conference after their meeting in Brussels, Belgium on 2 February, 2017 [Dursun Aydemir /Anadolu Agency]

EU foreign policy chief on Monday called on the Libyan leaders and military figures to reduce tension and return to the negotiation table.

Federica Mogherini made a doorstep statement regarding the recent escalations in Libya before attending the EU Foreign Council meeting being held in Luxembourg.

“[Libyan parties] should avoid further military action and escalation and return to political negotiations and track,” she said.

She added that the civilians and wounded people should be evacuated from capital Tripoli, adding the recent escalations were “increasingly worrying”.

READ: Libya army launches operation ‘Volcano of Rage’ against Haftar

On Thursday, east Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar launched a military campaign to recapture Tripoli from the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power: one in the eastern city of Al-Bayda, to which Haftar is linked, and another in Tripoli.

READ: Al-Sarraj warns of civil war in Libya and UN calls for de-escalation

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