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US rejects Haftar's declaration as ruler of Libya

People attend a protest against Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar's offensive to seize Tripoli, on 12 April 2019. [Hazem Turkia - Anadolu Agency]
People attend a protest against Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar's offensive to seize Tripoli, on 12 April 2019 [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]

The United States on Monday rejected Libyan National Army (LNA) commander, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar's declaration as leader of Libya, describing his actions as "regretful".

The US embassy in Tripoli said in a statement: "Changes in the Libyan political structure cannot be imposed through a unilateral declaration, adding that the embassy welcomes any opportunity to engage Haftar and all parties, in a serious dialogue on how to resolve the crisis and make progress in the country."

The statement urged Haftar's forces to join the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in declaring an immediate cessation of hostilities on humanitarian grounds due to the month of Ramadan and the coronavirus pandemic.

The statement pointed out that an immediate cessation of hostilities will lead to a permanent ceasefire as stipulated in talks facilitated by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya on 23 February

Earlier on Monday, Haftar announced that he had accepted a "popular mandate" to rule the country and dismissed the 2015 UN- brokered agreement which led to the formation of the Tripoli-based GNA.

READ: Haftar's mercenaries attack government forces with nerve gas

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