European Union calls on international forces to depart Libya

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The European Union reiterated a name for all international fighters to depart Libya because the war-torn nation works towards a political answer to years of civil warfare.

EU Council President Charles Michel renewed the demand throughout a press convention in Tripoli on Sunday, calling it a “precondition” for Libya’s return to normalcy after a decade of intermittent civil warfare.

The battle’s newest stalemate has been seized upon by United Nations officers and United States diplomats with a cease-fire to which either side agreed final 12 months.

That settlement stipulated that international fighters go away Libya in January, although there was little signal of international mercenaries departing the battle in important numbers.

Turkey started flying planeloads of Syrian fighters into Libya’s battle in 2019 in response to an offensive in opposition to the UN-backed authorities in Tripoli by rogue Libyan army chief Khalifa Hifter.

Russia, which has backed Hifter, has additionally flown Syrian fighters into the battle, in addition to Wagner paramilitary contractors, fighter plane and radar techniques, alarming US officers.

Michel on Sunday vowed the EU’s help for Libya’s newly sworn-in unity authorities throughout his journey to the North African nation’s capital over the weekend.

“The future of Libya is in your hands. You have a unique opportunity to build a united, sovereign, stable and prosperous country,” he mentioned in a press release.

Michel met with Tunisian President Kais Saeed in Tunis on Monday and with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has additionally backed Hifter, got here onboard with the cease-fire late final 12 months amid a US diplomatic push. Sisi final week additionally mentioned international mercenaries should go away Libya’s battle throughout a name with France’s President Emmanuel Macron, in accordance with Egypt’s presidency.

The United Arab Emirates and France have additionally backed Hifter’s ambitions. The US Defense Intelligence Agency reported late final 12 months that the UAE might have partially financed Wagner’s operations in Libya. Sudanese mercenaries, not less than a few of them unwitting, have reportedly been trafficked to struggle within the battle by a UAE-based personal safety agency.

Thousands of international fighters are believed to stay in Libya regardless of progress by the interim authorities forward of nationwide elections deliberate for December.

A UN report lately labeled the worldwide physique’s arms embargo on Libya “totally ineffective.”

The new prime minister of Libya’s interim authorities, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, was sworn in final month amid reward from Western officers.

Michel on Sunday referred to as Libya’s political transition an “historic moment” and “opportunity” for Libyans to “rebuild [their] country.”

Additional EU officers will go to Libya within the subsequent few weeks, with the EU’s ambassador to the nation set to return to Tripoli on the finish of the month, The Associated Press reported.