UN Security Council urges Libya's Haftar to avoid confrontation

TEHRAN, Apr. 06 (MNA) – The UN Security Council urged the Libyan National Army (LNA) to avoid military confrontation, according to a statement read out after an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Friday.

The text of the statement was read out to the media by Germany’s UN envoy, Christoph Heusgen, whose country holds the rotating Security Council presidency in April, Tass reported

"Members of the UN Security Council express deep concern at the military activity in Tripoli, which risks Libyan stability and prospects for UN mediation," Heusgen said.

"They called on LNA forces to halt all military conflicts. They also called on all forces to de-escalate all military activity," he continued. "There can be no military solution to the conflict."

The UN Security Council members also declared their full support to the reconciliation effort in Libya by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his special envoy to the country, Ghassan Salame.

"They reiterated their full support for the Secretary General and his special representative and called on all parties to resume dialogue and to deliver on their commitments to engage constructively within the UN," Heusgen said.

The UN Security Council meeting, which gathered on Friday evening at the United Kingdom’s initiative, lasted more than two hours. UN special envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, delivered his report to Security Council members via a video linkup.

Situation in Libya escalated during the visit of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Currently, the country has two governments: Tripoli’s Government of National Accord, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and recognized by the international community, and the interim Cabinet of Abdullah Al-Thani, who is acting in the country’s east together with the elected parliament and supported by the Libyan National Army of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

On Thursday, Haftar announced the launch of an offensive on Tripoli to retake the capital. The army is advancing to the capital now and, as some media reported, has already approached the city’s outskirts. Meanwhile, al-Sarraj ordered all military units subordinate to him to be on alert and to use force if necessary "to defend the civilian population and critical facilities."

In the meantime, the Al-Hadath television channel said that at a meeting with Antonio Guterres in Benghazi on Friday, Haftar notified the UN Secretary General that he would not negotiate with terrorists but would liberate Libya’s capital from them. According to the sources cited by the TV channel, Guterres asked Haftar to abide by generally recognized rules for military operations and by the international laws.

Later, the UN Secretary General wrote on his Twitter page that he was leaving Libya "with a heavy heart and deeply concerned."

MNA/TASS

News Code 143787

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