Macron invites Libya's putschist Gen. Haftar to France

Published 13.02.2020 15:38

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday sent an official invitation to Libya's putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar to visit France.

According to a statement from Haftar's press office, Haftar met with Christophe Farno, director of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the French Foreign Ministry, in the eastern city of Benghazi. Farno conveyed the invitation to Haftar during the meeting.

He also conveyed an invitation from French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner to his counterpart in Libya's U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bashagha, to visit Paris.

While meeting Wednesday with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Tripoli, Libya's Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj called on the international community to ensure that the decisions on Libya reached at last month's conference in Berlin are followed.

Haftar agreed at the conference on Jan. 19 to designate individuals to a U.N.-proposed military commission with five members from each side to monitor implementation of a cease-fire.

Despite the conference's call for a permanent cease-fire in the war-torn country, Haftar's forces have continued their attacks.

Since the ouster of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: One in the east supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys the U.N.'s official recognition.

Haftar's LNA, which is based in the east of the country, has been trying to wrestle control of the capital from the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), in an offensive that has stalled on the outskirts of the city. Libya's legitimate government has been under attack by Haftar's forces since last April, claiming the lives of more than 1,000 people.

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