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Italy and France - ceasefire needed urgently in Libyan fighting

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Italy and France - ceasefire needed urgently in Libyan fighting

Italy and France agree that the warring sides in the battle for Tripoli must swiftly reach a truce, foreign minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said on Friday after talks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.


"We have a shared position that a ceasefire must be agreed extremely rapidly," Moavero told reporters after his meeting with Le Drian.

Next week, the heads of Italy's and France's foreign ministries' political departments as well as "countries following events in Libya most closely" will meet in Rome for talks on Libya, Moavero noted.

At least 213 people have died including dozens of civilians and 1,009 have been injured in clashes in Tripoli over the past 14 days between eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army and forces loyal to the internationally recognised government in Tripoli according to the United Nations.

There are fears the fighting could tip Libya into another all-out civil war like the Nato-backed conflict that ousted late dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

France's continuing support for Haftar had displeased Libya's former colonial ruler Italy, which supports the UN-backed unity government and a UN-facilitated peace plan to stabilise the chaos-stricken North African country.



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