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EU Demands Halting Offensive on Tripoli

EU Demands Halting Offensive on Tripoli

Tuesday, 14 May, 2019 - 11:45
Federica Mogherini (Reuters)
Brussels, Cairo - Abdullah Mustafa & Asharq Al-Awsat
The European Union warned Monday that Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar's offensive on Tripoli represents a threat to international peace.

“The Libyan National Army’s (LNA) military attack on Tripoli and the subsequent escalation in and around the capital constitutes a threat to international peace and security and further threatens the stability of Libya,” AFP quoted EU members as saying in a statement.

The bloc called for all sides in the Libyan conflict to put down their arms and to commit to UN talks, though the month-long assault on the capital shows little sign of ending.

High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, for her part, stressed the need to return to dialogue for the benefit of all Libyans.

She renewed EU’s support for the Libyan Presidential Council (PC), saying there can be no military solution to the country's crisis.

Her comments were made following a meeting with Head of the PC Fayez al-Sarraj on Monday in Brussels. She noted that the attack on Tripoli should stop and all parties should return to the UN-led political process, suggested by UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame.

Sarraj told Mogherini he looks forward for a unified EU position and for the EU to be able to call things by name to help prevent bloodshed in Libya.

“The more the attack persists, the more destructive its consequences will be, not only on Libya but also on the entire region,” he stressed.

He also called on the EU to intervene and stop the violations of certain countries that are providing weapons to the attacking forces, saying this move represents a clear violation of the UN arms ban in Libya.

He reiterated that the battle in Tripoli is between those who want military rule and those who are defending the civilian state, saying any ceasefire talks can be achieved only if attacking forces retreat to their previous positions.

Mogherini later met with Salame, who refused to make any comments before the meeting. Yet, she stressed in her statements on the need for a ceasefire and for halting all military operations.

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