France denies Libya's 'unfounded' claim that it supports warlord

UNSC begin negotiations on a British-drafted resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Libya

Afp April 19, 2019
Fighting broke out on April 4 when strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to take Tripoli, the western seat of the UN-recognised Government of National Accord. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: France on Thursday rejected Libya's "completely unfounded" accusation that it has been supporting strongman Khalifa Haftar, whose forces have launched an assault on Tripoli.

The interior ministry of Libya's internationally recognised government earlier on Thursday accused France of actively supporting warlord Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA).

East Libyan warplanes hit Tripoli government positions

"Tripoli's claim of support and diplomatic cover for Haftar are completely unfounded," a French foreign ministry official said.

"France supports the legitimate government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and the mediation of the UN towards an inclusive political solution in Libya," the French presidency said in a statement.

Libya's Interior Minister Fathi Bach Agha has ordered the "suspension of all relations between the ministry and the French side... due to the position of the French government in support of the criminal Haftar", the interior ministry in Tripoli said.

"These are disappointing statements," the French interior ministry source said.

On Tuesday, UN Security Council diplomats began negotiations on a British-drafted resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Libya and the creation of a humanitarian corridor from the battle zones near Tripoli.

Libya in chaos since 2011 overthrow of Gaddafi

But Russia, the United States and several African nations do not support the British approach.

At least 174 people have been killed and more than 18,000 displaced since Haftar ordered his forces to march on Tripoli on April 4, according to UN figures.


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