Macron wants to meet Libya’s Haftar to push ceasefire - French foreign minister

French President Emmanuel Macron said he wants to meet Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 May 2019
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Macron wants to meet Libya’s Haftar to push ceasefire - French foreign minister

PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron wants to meet Libyan eastern commander Khalifa Haftar to push a cease-fire and resume peace talks, France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Macron last week called for a cease-fire in the month-long battle for Libya’s capital Tripoli after meeting UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al-Serraj.
Tripoli is home to the recognized administration but some European countries such as France have also supported eastern military commander Haftar as a way to fight militants in a country in chaos since the toppling of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
A day after meeting Macron, the internationally recognized government asked 40 foreign firms including French oil major Total to renew their licenses or have their operations suspended.
“The situation in Libya is extremely worrying because the proposed UN roadmap to both parties — and which almost reached a positive conclusion — ... has today failed on the one hand because of Field Marshal Haftar’s initiative and Serraj’s non-initiative,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers.
“It’s for this reason that the president wanted to meet one and the other to support the UN initiative.”
The French presidency said there was no meeting planned at this stage.


Iran’s Khamenei: Tehran will not leave UK piracy unanswered

Updated 15 min 20 sec ago
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Iran’s Khamenei: Tehran will not leave UK piracy unanswered

  • The Iranian supertanker, carrying 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil, was seized with the help of British Royal Marines
  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the seizure of the ship “piracy”

DUBAI: Iran’s top leader says his country will retaliate over the seizure of an Iranian tanker by British authorities.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the seizure of the ship “piracy” in a televised speech Tuesday, saying: “God willing, the Islamic Republic and its committed forces will not leave this evilness without a response.”
The Iranian supertanker, carrying 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil, was seized with the help of British Royal Marines earlier this month off Gibraltar.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Saturday that Britain will facilitate the release the ship if Iran can provide guarantees the vessel will not breach European sanctions on oil shipments to Syria. Tensions have soared in the Persian Gulf over the past year as the Trump administration has ramped up sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.