Tunisia affirmed its full support for the internationally-recognised Libyan government on Wednesday, while endorsing a political solution to end the conflict in its neighbour, the Foreign Ministry in Tripoli has reported.
“Tunisian Foreign Minister Noureddine Al-Rai talked by phone with his Libyan counterpart, Mohamed Taher Siala,” revealed the ministry on Facebook. “[Mr Al-Rai] expressed his country’s full support for the Government of National Accord, and said that Tunisia supports a political solution in Libya.”
Libya has been embroiled in conflict since 2011 when the regime of Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. The militia led by renegade Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, supported by some Arab and European countries, has been contesting the GNA’s legitimacy and authority in the oil-rich country.
In a related move, the head of the Presidential Council of Libya and GNA leader, Fayez Al-Sarraj, spoke of a call received from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday. Al-Sarraj pointed out that he has called from the beginning for “political dialogue during which all parties can negotiate to find a comprehensive solution.” He stressed that, “From now on, some parties need to stop calling this criminal [Haftar] a political partner and legitimising his presence.”
The Libyan army loyal to the GNA announced on Tuesday the recovery of 208 bodies from mass graves south of the capital and the city of Tarhuna and its surroundings over the past 23 days. These areas were previously controlled by Haftar’s militia.
Major efforts are being made by international actors to persuade the warring parties to return to the negotiating table, in light of numerous military victories by the GNA forces, which have seen Haftar lose control of some strategically-important cities in Libya.