Algeria to host foreign ministers on Libya crisis

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Foreign ministers of states neighboring Libya are to meet on Thursday in Algiers as part of international efforts to reach a political settlement to the country’s conflict, Algeria’s foreign ministry announced.

The foreign ministers of Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Chad and Niger as well as Mali are expected to attend the meeting, organized at the initiative of Algiers, the ministry said in a statement.

It said the aim would be to advance “a political settlement to the crisis through an inclusive dialogue between all parties.”

“The latest developments in Libya will be reviewed... to allow our Libyan brothers to resolve the crisis in their country free of interference of any kind.”

Algeria, which has maintained a neutral stance between the warring parties, and Libya share a border of almost 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).

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Algiers has hosted a string of foreign leaders and envoys for talks on the Libyan conflict, including Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the top diplomats of Egypt, France, Italy and Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected in the Algerian capital on Sunday at the start of a two-day visit.

Last Sunday, world leaders at a meeting in Berlin committed to ending all foreign meddling in Libya and to uphold a weapons embargo as part of a broader plan to end the conflict.

Since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that killed longstanding dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has been plunged into chaos.

It is now divided between the the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj and rival authorities based in the country’s east.

Al-Sarraj is fighting a civil war against an alternative government based in the eastern city of Benghazi whose forces the Libyan National Army (LNA) are led by commander Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar launched an offensive to capture the Libyan capital of Tripoli in April vowing to end the rule of militias that include hardline groups linked to al-Qaeda and others. General Haftar has reportedly received support from international allies opposed to extremism and the Muslim Brotherhood.

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