Libya’s Haftar says to fight until Tripoli ‘militias’ defeated

More than 75,000 people have been driven from their homes in the latest fighting and 510 have been killed. (File/AFP)
Updated 26 May 2019
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Libya’s Haftar says to fight until Tripoli ‘militias’ defeated

  • Haftar had justified the offensive last month by saying he was fighting against “private militias and extremist groups”
  • 100,000 people are feared trapped by the clashes raging on the outskirts of Tripoli

PARIS: Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is leading a military offensive against the UN-recognized government in Tripoli, said in an interview published Sunday he will continue fighting until militias in the city laid down their arms.
Haftar had justified the offensive last month by saying he was fighting against “private militias and extremist groups” who he said were gaining influence in the capital under Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.
“Of course a political solution is the objective,” Haftar told the Journal de Dimanche newspaper in France. “But to return to politics, we need to finish with the militias.
“The problem in Tripoli is a security one.”
He offered an amnesty to fighters in Tripoli who laid down their arms, saying they would be allowed to “return home safe and sound.”
He also took aim at UN mediator Ghassan Salame, who has warned the country is “committing suicide” due to a conflict that 6-10 foreign states are involved in.
“Salame is making irresponsible statements,” Haftar said. “He wasn’t like that before, he has changed. From an impartial and honest mediator, he has become a biased one.”
Salame has warned that Haftar’s offensive is “just the start of a long and bloody war.”
More than 75,000 people have been driven from their homes in the latest fighting and 510 have been killed, according to the World Health Organization.
More than 2,400 have also been wounded, while 100,000 people are feared trapped by the clashes raging on the outskirts of Tripoli.


Jordan king says Israeli annexation would be a disaster

Updated 18 September 2019

Jordan king says Israeli annexation would be a disaster

  • Abdullah said “we’re looking on this with tremendous concern.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Tuesday that if Israel went ahead with the idea of annexing all the settlements in the West Bank it would be a “disaster” for attempts to find any two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Speaking after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Abdullah said he was “extremely concerned” about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex all the West Bank settlements.

He said it will “directly impact” the relationship between Israel and Jordan, and Israel and Egypt, and that “these types of statements are ... a disaster to any attempt to move forward to the two-state solution.”

Merkel agreed, calling Netanyahu’s vow “unhelpful.” The German government backs an internationally negotiated peace solution in the sense of a two state solution ... annexations are always detrimental to peace solutions. They do not help and therefore we do not agree, said Merkel

Abdullah said “we’re looking on this with tremendous concern.”

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

Netanyahu’s career was on the line on Tuesday as Israel held its second national election this year, with voters deciding whether to give him another term in office despite a likely indictment on corruption charges.

The longest serving leader in Israeli history was seeking a fourth consecutive term in office and fifth overall. 

But he faced a stiff challenge from retired military chief Benny Gantz, whose centrist Blue and White party is running even with Netanyahu’s Likud. 

Both parties could struggle to form a majority coalition with smaller allies, though, forcing them into a potential unity government.