Macron tries to de-escalate violence in Libya

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron had phone conversations “over the last two days” with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and rogue military commander Gen. Khalifa Haftar in a bid to ease tensions in the North African country, the French presidency has said.

Expressing “deep concerns about the last developments”, Macron told the rival parties that “there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict,” urging them “to act immediately to end the fighting and ease tension”, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Elysee Palace on Monday.

“France will spare no effort to bring together, with its international partners, Libyan actors around a durable political solution,” the Elysee said.

Macron also spoken on phone with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the situation in Libya.

Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA), declared an offensive to take control of Tripoli from Libya’s UN-backed government last week.

Al-Serraj accused Haftar of attempting to carry out a coup. At least 2,800 people have so far fled fighting around Tripoli, according to the UN.

International powers started evacuating personnel from Libya in recent days as the security situation deteriorated in the country.

Libya has been torn by violence, political instability and power struggles since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011.