US’ Pompeo, Egypt FM urge calm in Libya amid Tripoli offensive

This image grab taken from a video published on the Facebook page of the War Information Division of Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army on May 26, 2019 shows fighters loyal to Haftar reportedly advancing on a road south of the capital Tripoli. (AFP/ LNA War Information Division)
Updated 28 May 2019

US’ Pompeo, Egypt FM urge calm in Libya amid Tripoli offensive

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the crisis in Libya during a phone call with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
  • Khalifa Haftar on a visit last week to France rejected a cease-fire urged by President Emmanuel Macron

WASHINGTON: The United States and Egypt, a key backer of Libyan militia leader Khalifa Haftar, on Tuesday called for calm as the strongman pressed ahead in his offensive on Tripoli.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the crisis in Libya during a phone call with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, the State Department said.
The two discussed “the urgent need to achieve a political solution in Libya and prevent further escalation,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
Haftar is pressing ahead against the internationally backed government in Tripoli in fighting that has left 510 dead and driven more than 75,000 people from their homes, according to World Health Organization figures.
Haftar on a visit last week to France rejected a cease-fire urged by President Emmanuel Macron.
In an interview with the Journal de Dimanche newspaper, Haftar said he would continue the operation until “private militias and extremist groups,” who he alleged were gaining influence under Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj laid down their weapons.


Ethiopia releases Lebanese businessman held since last week

Updated 4 min 43 sec ago

Ethiopia releases Lebanese businessman held since last week

BEIRUT: The Lebanese Foreign Ministry says Ethiopia has released a Lebanese businessman who had been detained in the African nation since last week.
The ministry said Sunday that Hassan Jaber will head from Ethiopia to the African nation of Gabon and later will return to Lebanon.
On Friday, the ministry had summoned Ethiopia's charge d'affaires demanding information about Jaber, whom it said was detained in Addis Ababa on Sept. 7.
It informed the Ethiopian diplomat that Beirut wants "clear answers" by Monday, otherwise Lebanon would take countermeasures.
Some Lebanese media outlets have speculated that Israel or the United States might have been behind Jaber's arrest.
The ministry did not give any explanation why Jaber was held in Ethiopia.