Libya's Haftar meets French leader Macron amid Tripoli fighting

Libya's Haftar meets French leader Macron amid Tripoli fighting
1 min read
22 May, 2019
Libyan commander Khalifa Hafter is in Paris for meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron amid growing international concern about his month-long offensive to take Libya's capital.
Wednesday's closed-door meeting comes two weeks after Macron hosted UN-backed prime minister Fayez Sarraj. [Getty]

Libyan commander Khalifa Hafter is in Paris for meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron amid growing international concern about his month-long offensive to take Libya's capital, Tripoli.

Wednesday's closed-door meeting comes two weeks after Macron hosted Libya's struggling UN-backed prime minister, who denounced Hafter's offensive as an attempted coup.

Macron's office has expressed support for Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj but hasn't openly addressed claims that France is secretly backing Hafter.

Hafter's self-styled Libyan National Army, based in the country's east, is battling rival militias loosely allied with Sarraj's government.

The UN envoy warned the oil-rich nation "is on the verge of descending into a civil war" that could imperil its neighbours.

Ghassan Salame said Tuesday extremists from the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda are already exploiting the security vacuum.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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