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Libya’s Sarraj calls on EU to confront countries that support Haftar militarily

May 14, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya Fayez Al-Sarraj [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The head of the Libyan Presidential Council (PC), Fayez Al-Sarraj, has called on the European Union (EU) to confront countries that provide military support to opposition leader General Khalifa Haftar.

This came during a  meeting with the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, in Brussels.

Al-Sarraj explained during the meeting that countries that provide Haftar with weapons violate the UN Security Council’s arms embargo, adding that the battle taking place in Tripoli is in reality a battle between “those who want to militarise the state and those who want a civil state”.

Any dialogue regarding a ceasefire will only take place after the aggressor’s forces withdraw, Al-Sarraj added.

For her part, Mogherini called for the attack on Tripoli to be halted and a return to the negotiations table in accordance with the plan put forward by the UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salama.

READ: NATO calls on conflicting parties in Libya to return to dialogue

On 4 April UAE-backed Libyan strongman, Haftar, launched a military offensive against the capital Tripoli.

The UN-backed GNA which governs the city has since been calling on international players to help it respond to the attack.

Haftar has built up his Libyan National Army (LNA) with the help of the UAE and Egypt supplying heavy gear such helicopters. It also enjoys the support of Saudi Arabia, Russia and France, despite the UN recognising the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) as the legitimate authority in the country.

Haftar’s offensive all but wrecked UN-backed efforts for a peace deal between the rival factions to end eight years of conflict.