US presses advancing Libya government to end fighting




Forces loyal to Libya
Forces loyal to Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord parade a Pantsir air defense system truck in the capital Tripoli on May 20, 2020 after its capture at a nearby airbase from strongman Khalifa Haftar  

Washington (AFP) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday pressed Libya's Turkish-backed government for a ceasefire and criticized the flow of weapons as Tripoli pushes back against a year-old rebel offensive.

Pompeo placed a phone call to Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj to "reiterate US opposition to the continued level of weapons and munitions being brought into the country," the State Department said.

Pompeo and Sarraj "emphasized the importance of an immediate halt to the fighting and return to political dialogue," a statement said.

Sarraj's UN-recognized Government of National Accord has scored a series of successes in recent weeks in pushing back against warlord Khalifa Haftar, including seizing a strategic airfield near Tripoli on Monday.

Haftar -- who is backed by US allies Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia -- launched an offensive in April 2019 to seize Tripoli that has killed hundreds.

A recent UN report on Libya's widely violated arms embargo also showed support for Haftar by mercenaries from a Russian security group seen as close to President Vladimir Putin.

Pompeo's statement did not name any country for sending in weapons, but the Government of National Accord's key military supplier is Turkey, which signed a pact with Tripoli in November.

A report last month by the International Crisis Group said that Turkey has sent into Libya at least 100 military officers, shiploads of weapons and aerial defenses as well as at least 2,000 pro-Turkish fighters from Syria.

The United States officially backs the UN-recognized government and opposes Haftar's offensive.

But its position has caused confusion as President Donald Trump, who has close ties with Haftar's Arab allies, in April 2019 spoke with the strongman by telephone and praised him.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Wuhan lab director says facility was studying bat coronaviruses but none that match the one behind COVID-19
Wuhan lab director says facility was studying bat coronaviruses but none that match the one behind COVID-19
  • World
  • 2020-05-24 15:07:15Z

Wang Yanyi, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, told Chinese state media Sunday the lab was working on three live strains of bat coronavirus, but the closest genetic match to the virus that causes COVID-19 and sparked a global health crisis was only 79.8 percent. Therefore, Wang said, claims by the likes of President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the virus may have escaped from the facility are "pure fabrication."As tensions between the U.S. and China have heightened since the outbreak, Trump and Pompeo have leaned into the lab-origin theory. But the scientific consensus remains that the pathogen was passed from bats to humans through an intermediary species...

Wuhan lab head calls virus leak claims
Wuhan lab head calls virus leak claims 'pure fabrication'
  • World
  • 2020-05-24 05:34:15Z

Claims promoted by the Trump administration that the global coronavirus pandemic originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the central Chinese city are a "pure fabrication," the institute's director said. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have repeatedly said they suspect the virus that was first detected in Wuhan was somehow released from the laboratory. Most scientists say the pathogen that has infected 5.3 million and killed more than 342,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, was passed from bats to humans via an intermediary species likely sold at a wet market in Wuhan late last year.

Libya
Libya's Haftar seeks to rouse forces against Turkey

Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar called on his forces on Saturday to rally against Turkey, which has helped his Tripoli-based rivals turn the tide of a military conflict around the capital. Recent advances by forces aligned with the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), including the seizure of a key air base, have thrown a year-long offensive on Tripoli by Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) into jeopardy. On Saturday the GNA forces pressed forward in some outlying districts of Tripoli, where they say they have had to pick their way through mines and other explosive devices laid by the LNA.

Trump, Erdogan discussed need for
Trump, Erdogan discussed need for 'rapid de-escalation' in Libya: White House

U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday discussed turmoil in Libya and Syria, as well as reopening economies around the world amid the global coronavirus pandemic, a White House spokesman said. "President Trump and President Erdogan discussed progress on reopening and boosting global economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic," Spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

Flouting Norms, Trump Seeks to Bring Independent Watchdogs to Heel
Flouting Norms, Trump Seeks to Bring Independent Watchdogs to Heel

WASHINGTON -- Congress had a clear idea of the role it expected inspectors general to play when it created them in 1978 after the Watergate scandals. They were to be dispersed in the agencies and departments of the federal government not as compliant team members but in-house referees, charged with rooting out corruption, waste, malfeasance and illegality.As their numbers increased in the four decades since, inspectors general have played that role in bureaucracies as vast as the Pentagon and as tiny as the Denali Commission, charged with developing infrastructure in Alaska. It was an inspector general who in 2003 discovered that the CIA was using unauthorized techniques to torture...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Europe