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Situation in Libya 'extremely worrying' - Di Maio

05 giugno 2020 | 14.45
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Photo: AFP

The situation in Libya, where eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar's 14-month-long offensive to seize control of Tripoli collapsed suddenly this week, remains "extremely worrying", Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said on Friday.

"The situation on the ground in Libya is extremely worrying. The ongoing flows of weapons and mercenaries must stop," Di Maio said in Berlin on Friday where had talks with German counterpart Heiko Maas.

Di Maio and Maas appealed "to all sides" in Libya to suspend hostilities and seek political dialogue, as urged by world powers at a conference in the German capital in January.

Di Maio also reiterated an appeal to European Union countries to "adequately equip" the bloc's new Irini naval, air and satellite mission in the Mediterranean to enforce an arms embargo against Libya.

"This will ensure a central role for the EU," Di Maio said.

Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government said on Friday they had entered Tarhuna, Haftar's last major stronghold of commander Khalifa Haftar in the west and the main launchpad for the offensive against the capital.

Turkey's backing has helped the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) win a string of victories in recent weeks, ending an assault on Tripoli that led to battles in its southern suburbs and the bombardment of the city centre.

Libya's conflict is far from over, however, with Haftar's forces still controlling the country's east, where there is a rival administration, and large areas of the south, where the country's main oilfields are located.

Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army is backed by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, while Turkey and Qatar support the GNA.

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