Libyan Marshal Khalifa Haftar told Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Wednesday that conditions were “not in place” for a ceasefire around Tripoli, but he acknowledged that a resumption of a political dialogue would be necessary to bring crisis, the French presidency said at the end of the meeting.
French President Emmanuel Macron, for his part, asked the strongman of eastern Libya that a cessation of hostilities “take place as soon as possible,” the source said.
But, acknowledged the presidential palace of the Elysee, “the mistrust between the Libyan actors is stronger than ever” and “we see the impasse between the wish of the international community for a cessation of hostilities and the way of seeing Marshal Haftar “. The latter did not speak at the end of the meeting, which lasted a little over an hour.
During the talks, in the presence of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Marshal “explained and justified”, according to the French presidency, the military offensive he launched in early April on Tripoli to, a- he said, fighting against “private militias and radical groups” whose influence is growing in the capital.
Its self-proclaimed Libyan National Army ( ANL ), however, is facing resistance from the nationally recognized Government of National Unity ( GNA ) forces based in the capital.
510 dead in fights between the NLG and NLA
Marshal Haftar presented to Macron the situation on the ground as being “in progress and dynamic”, saying that he was consolidating “progressively his positions”.
The Elysee has announced that French diplomacy would be “very active in the coming weeks” to try to promote a solution, maintaining “a constant dialogue” with the UN , Italy, former colonial power, the other European capitals, Washington and regional actors, like Egypt. “We are not naive” in the face of “a delicate situation and difficult to decipher,” said the same source.
Emmanuel Macron had received on May 8 the head of the GNA Fayez al-Sarraj, who had accused France of supporting Marshal Haftar, critics deemed “unacceptable and unfounded” by Paris. He had then reaffirmed his “support”.
Since the start of the assault on Marshal Haftar’s forces on April 4, fighting has left 510 dead and 2,467 injured, according to a report released Monday by the World Health Organization.
The envoy of the UN for Libya Ghassan Salameh warned Tuesday before the Security Council against “the beginning of a long and bloody war” that “could lead to the permanent division of the country.”