State Department Spokesperson: Washington’s Policy Towards Libya Has Not Changed

0
285

A State Department spokesman told Al-Arabiya TV on Thursday that Washington’s policy toward Libya has not changed and that the United States opposes all “foreign armed interventions in Libya.”

“Finalizing an immediate ceasefire under the UN-led 5+5 military talks is imperative, as is respect for the UN arms embargo by all parties,” the spokesperson told Al Arabiya.

The State Department official said that “the Libyan people must resolve this crisis through UN-facilitated political negotiations, aimed toward national elections.”

On Thursday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said his country would not stand idle before the crisis in Libya and would intervene according to the Libyan Parliament’s request if necessary.

“As soon as Egypt interferes in Libya, the military scene will change rapidly and decisively,” El-Sisi said during a meeting with tribal leaders in Cairo.

The Egyptian Presidency reported that “Libyan tribal elders gave their full mandate to the President and the Egyptian armed forces to intervene in Libya to defend its sovereignty and adopt all measures to secure the national security interests of Libya and Egypt.”

Egypt is backing the Libyan National Army (LNA), which is headed by Khalifa Haftar, while Turkey is backing the Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

Ankara has been accused of transferring thousands of Syrian fighters to fight in Libya against LNA forces.

Addressing Russia’s role in the Libyan conflict, a State Department spokesman said that “Russia’s armed activities in Libya exacerbate social and political rifts and increase the potential for mass casualties, including civilians, with destabilizing consequences for the region, including NATO’s southern flank.”

Russia has denied deploying mercenaries to Libya and strongly rejected the U.S. military’s claim that Russia has deployed fighter jets to support LNA forces in their offensive on the capital, Tripoli.