Libya crisis: US ‘still hopeful’ for peaceful solution, says Secretary Mike Pompeo

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The US is “still hopeful” for a political solution for peace in Libya, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a press conference on Thursday.

The civil war in Libya has escalated over recent weeks, with the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) gaining territory against the rival Libyan National Army (LNA), prompting Egypt and the LNA to say they will not let the GNA take the strategic city of Sirte.


Read more: Libya conflict: Sirte-Jufra ‘red line’ set to be next major flashpoint

Amid escalating rhetoric from both sides, Pompeo said that the US is still committed to the 5+5 peace talks in Berlin, which brought together five LNA commanders and five GNA counterparts in January and February.

“We’ve worked closely with our European partners to try and get these talks restarted. I was in Berlin several months back,” said Pompeo in a video-recorded statement released on Twitter.

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Stop arms flow into Libya

He added that the US remained committed to stopping the flow of arms in to Libya, in line with the UN arms embargo on the country.

“The mission set remains the same: to get the fighting to stop, to reduce the flow of arms flowing there from any place, whether that’s from the Turks, from the Russians, from anyone, to reduce the footprint of the military conflict, and then to find a political solution to resolve, to get a stable, peaceful situation in Tripoli and in Libya more broadly,” he said.

Pompeo’s comments come two days after the Pentagon called for an “immediate end” to foreign mercenaries’ involvement in the Libyan conflict, following reports of Turkey sending thousands of Syrian mercenaries to fight alongside the GNA.

In Libya, the US chief of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) met with GNA officials in the city of Zuwara on Monday.

Read more: French vs Italian support to Libyan rival sides depends on vital interests: Expert

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