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State Department did not support the Haftar offensive in Tripoli

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The US does not support the offensive of the Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Marshal Khalifa Haftar in Tripoli, but considers him a counterterrorism partner, said US Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East David Schenker.

“I can clearly state that we support the Government of National Accord. We do not support the Haftar attack on Tripoli,” he said, speaking in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

According to him, at present, Haftar controls about 75% of Libyan territory.

At the same time, he noted that Haftar is a US counterterrorism partner in Libya . “And although we consider many of his actions to be counterproductive, Haftar is part of the problem and part of its solution,” the diplomat added.

He also urged Haftar to participate in the process of political settlement under the auspices of the UN.

After the overthrow and assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya virtually ceased to function as a single state. Dual power reigns in the country now. The parliament elected by the people sits in the east, and in the west, in the capital Tripoli, the Government of National Accord (PNC), formed with the support of the UN and the European Union, rules.

The authorities of the eastern part of the country operate independently of Tripoli and cooperate with the Haftar army.

In Berlin on January 19, an international conference on Libya was held with the participation of Russia, the USA, Turkey, Egypt and several other countries, as well as the EU and the UN.

There were at the summit both the prime minister of the Libyan PNS ruling in the west of the country, Fayez Sarraj, and Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the offensive in Tripoli, collaborating with the East Libyan authorities, although they failed to organize direct negotiations between them again.

The main outcome of the conference was an appeal by its participants to a ceasefire in Libya and an obligation to refrain from interfering in the conflict, observing the embargo on the supply of arms to the parties. In addition, participants in the meeting proposed the establishment of a ceasefire monitoring committee.

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