Published: June 10, 2019
US Official to Asharq Al-Awsat: We Seek to Return Haftar, Sarraj to Negotiations
An American official urges Libya's Haftar and Sarraj to return to negotiations. (Reuters)
Cairo – Khaled Mahmoud
An American official stressed that Washington’s policy on Libya remains unchanged, saying permanent peace and stability in the North African country are only possible through a political solution.
“We call on all sides to immediately return to the United Nations-sponsored mediation,” the senior State Department official told Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity.
Moreover, he stated that the US was seeking to return Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar and Government of National Accord (GNA) chief Fayez al-Sarraj to the negotiations table.
He revealed that Sarraj’s deputy Ahmed Maitieg had recently met in Washington with US State Department Director of the Office of Maghreb Affairs, Joshua Harris.
The US supports the ongoing efforts exerted by UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame to achieve peace and stability in the country, he continued.
American officials are holding talks with several Libyan leaders and international partners in order to restore stability and return Haftar and Sarraj to the dialogue table, he added.
The US official’s remarks contradict Maitieg’s claims from Washington on Sunday that the American administration underlined its support to the GNA.
In Libya, LNA commander in the western region, Abdul Salam al-Hassi denied to Asharq Al-Awsat rumors that he was sacked from his post.
LNA media said that the Muslim Brotherhood was keen on fabricating news in order to divert attention from their crimes.
The LNA added that terrorist militias loyal to the GNA had shelled the town of the Qasr bin Ghashir south of Tripoli, leaving children dead and injured and causing heavy material damage.
Meanwhile, United Nations envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame called for an immediate humanitarian truce in Libya and an end to the fighting south of the capital.
This was the third such call by the UN since the LNA launched on April 4 its operation to cleanse Tripoli of terrorist and criminal gangs. None of the combatants have yet to heed these pleas.
Salame had held talks on Sunday with Italian Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Buccino on the latest developments in the country and the international scene.
Also on Sunday, Buccino paid a visit to the western city of Misrata to hold talks with several local officials.
A statement from the city’s municipality condemned the “attack on the capital and the consequent grave losses in life and property.”
Hours earlier, the city’s municipal council denied rumors that any official from Misrata was in contact with Haftar.