Libya talks to go ahead despite new fighting: United Nations envoy

Libya talks to go ahead despite new fighting: United Nations envoy

Libya talks to go ahead despite new fighting: United Nations envoy

Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said Haftar must heed global warnings to halt his advance on Tripoli or else "we will see what can be done".

Speaking at a news conference in Tripoli, he said he was striving to prevent the new crisis from getting out of control.

There is widespread concern that Hifter's military push will bring on another wave of violence and fighting in a country that has operated as a virtual failed state since the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Moamar Gadhafi. Those talks are scheduled for April 14-16.

The UN Security Council called on him to "halt all military movements".

U.S. forces in Libya have been evacuated for their safety in connection with the deteriorating security situation in the country, which now has U.S. Africa Command conducting "prudent military planning" as it assesses the situation, the military said Sunday. Council members "called on all parties to resume dialogue and deliver on their commitments to engage constructively with the United Nations political process".

On Saturday, a source with the Libyan Presidential Guard told Anadolu Agency that Haftar forces were still in control of Qasr bin Ghashir as GNA forces were mobilizing forces to relaunch a campaign to recapture areas under Haftar's control.

The Libyan National Army says it has advanced into the outskirts of Tripoli as it continues its thrust against the internationally recognised government.

G7 foreign ministers have urged an end to the fighting.

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The march appeared to have faced a set-back on Friday, however.

Hifter's forces were stopped from advancing, and about 100 of his fighters were captured by the pro-government militias, local media reports said.

The forces allied to Haftar also said they took control of the villages of Qasr ben Ghashir, Wadi al Rabie and Suq al Khamis south of Tripoli, in a statement. He said the soldiers' commander was being investigated. Cairo has been one of Haftar's strongest supporters.

He said rival militias launched four airstrikes on Saturday targeting General Hifter's position in the town of al-Aziziya. He didn't elaborate on the number of casualties.

On Friday, Haftar's forces were pushed back from a key checkpoint west of the capital, less than 24 hours after seizing it during the lightning offensive towards Tripoli.

It is the first time the worldwide community has been so clear that Haftar is responsible for the aggression and follows a failed effort by the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, to persuade Haftar to hold United Nations mediation talks in Geneva with Libya's prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj.

Hifter's militia is aligned with a separate administration based in eastern Libya.

Hope dashed for a political resolution?

The Government of National Accord commands little territorial authority in a country run by different militias and a rival parliament based in the east. Haftar has recently seized much of southern Libya without fighting.

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