France denies blocking EU call on Haftar to stop Tripoli attack

PARIS, France on Thursday denied allegations that it had blocked a European Union statement calling on “Field Marshall” Khalifa Haftar to halt his attack on the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Earlier this week, Haftar’s forces entered Tripoli and there have been scores killed in clashes in the south of the capital and thousands of civilians have been displaced while thousands more are trapped by the fighting.

Tripoli’s only working airport has also been closed after air strikes by Haftar.

France was accused of having sought to hold up an EU call directly to Haftar to halt his offensive.

“It is a false allegation,” the French Foreign Ministry said in answer to questions in a briefing.

“France called for the text to be reinforced on three essential points for the European Union: the situation of migrants, the involvement in the fighting of certain groups or persons under United Nations sanctions for terrorist activities, and finally, the need to arrive at a political solution under the authority of the United Nations” in line with agreements reached in meetings between the protagonists in Paris, Palermo and Abu Dhabi, the statement claimed.

Haftar’s forces are threatening to overcome the internationally-recognised government of Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.

Source: Kuwait News Agency