France’s Le Drian Says Foreign Interference and Violations of Arms Embargo Complicate Libyan Crisis

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The French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said that the halting of the political process in Libya was changing the dynamics of the Libyan crisis. He underscored that it was civilians who were bearing the brunt of this.

“The nature of the Libyan crisis has changed,” said Le Drian in a speech to the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The French Foreign Minister added that foreign interference, the active use of foreign fighters and repeated violations of the UN arms embargo on Libya have led to a further deterioration of the situation in the northafrican country.

Le Drian said he regretted that the warring parties in Libya had thus far failed to respond to the European Union’s calls for a truce during the holy month of Ramadan.

He warned that the growing crisis would negatively affect the state’s efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that France had provided the World Health Organization with 700 million euros to combat the spread of the virus.

On Monday, the General Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, announced that the LNA would take over the management of Libya’s affairs of state. According to Haftar, the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement that was signed in Skirhat, Morocco, in 2015 and created the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) has expired and can no longer be considered valid.