Conte may meet Haftar in Rome this week

Conte may meet Haftar in Rome this week

Italy's populist premier Giuseppe Conte may hold talks in Rome with Libya's eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar "in the next few days" as part of efforts towards a ceasefire in the deadly fighting that began in Tripoli when his militia entered the city five weeks ago.

Haftar, who will hold talks in Paris with France's president Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday according to Libyan media reports, has stated his intention to travel on to Rome, Adnkronos understands.

Italy's foreign minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday called for an immediate humanitarian truce in war-wracked Libya, saying the plight of civilians made this "a priority and a necessity".

Last week, Libya's United Nations backed premier Fayez Serraj made Italy the first stop a diplomatic mini-tour of Europe to ask for support against the "aggression" of Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army, which began an assault on Tripoli on 5 April.

In a statement issued after a foreign ministers meeting in Brussels appealed for an immediate humanitarian truce and called the LNA's offensive in Tripoli and the military escalation in and around the capital "a threat to international peace and security" that "further threatens the stability of Libya".

The warfare in Tripoli that pits the LNA against militias loyal to the Sarraj government has killed at least 454 people, injured at least 2,154 and displaced some 60,000, the UN said last week.

Libya, a former Italian colony, has been in chaos since the Nato-backed ouster of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with rival administrations in the east and in Tripoli backed by myriad of militias who are vying for control of the oil-rich country.