The United Nations special envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, said yesterday that France supports the internationally-recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj, "but does not ignore the role of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar in the fight against terrorism".
Salame told France Inter radio that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has informed him that he would support an attempt to stop the war in Libya.
On Wednesday, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, Fayez Al-Sarraj, told France's Liberation newspaper that his government was surprised that France supports a dictator instead of his government.
"When [French President] Emmanuel Macron contacted me [on 8 April], I told him that the public opinion in Tripoli was against France. We do not want the Libyans to hate France. France still has a positive and important role to play in Libya," he added.
Later on Thursday, France reiterated its support for Al-Sarraj's government and UN mediation for a comprehensive political solution in Libya.
Earlier this month, forces loyal to strongman Haftar launched a military offensive against the capital, Tripoli.
The Haftar military operation came days before the start of a UN-brokered conference aimed at resolving the Libyan crisis.