France, Britain, Egypt, UAE, United States, Italy call for immediate end of hostilities in Libya

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LONDON: France, UK, Egypt, the UAE, US and Italy on Tuesday called for an immediate end of hostilities around Tripoli and warned of attempts by “terrorist groups” to take advantage of the political void in Libya.

The six countries reiterated in a rare joint statement their deep concern over the ongoing hostilities in Tripoli and called for an immediate de-escalation, end of the current fighting, and urged a rapid return to the political process under the auspices of the UN.

They warned that the fighting “has fueled a growing humanitarian emergency,” aggravating a crisis with migrants, and voiced fear that extremists would thrive in the security vacuum.

The countries “call on all parties to the Tripoli conflict to dissociate themselves from all such terrorists and individuals designated by the UN Sanctions Committee, and renew our commitment to see those responsible for further instability held accountable,” they said.

Nearly 1,100 people have been killed in the fighting.

While backing the government, Western powers earlier this year sent mixed signals, with US President Donald Trump praising Khalifa Haftar in a phone call and France and Italy welcoming him on visits.

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