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LNA Says Tripoli Fully Besieged

LNA Says Tripoli Fully Besieged

Thursday, 19 December, 2019 - 08:30
Sick children arrive from Libya to Ciampino in Rome, Italy, 17 December 2019. Five Libyan children will be treated in Rome. EPA/Telenews
Cairo - Khalid Mahmoud

Libya’s capital, Tripoli, has been fully besieged, the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced on Wednesday.


According to a report by the Arabic website of Russia’s Sputnik news agency, LNA official Brigadier General Khalid al-Mahjoub pointed out that the security cordon on the capital was completed.


Regarding Berlin's plan to hold an international conference on Libya and international calls for a political solution to the country’s crisis, Mahjoub said: “We believe that the elimination of militias is the only solution.”


Last week, Haftar urged his forces to advance towards the center of Tripoli in what he said would be the "final battle" for the capital.


He launched an offensive in April to take Tripoli from militias backing the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj.


On Wednesday, Sarraj discussed with his Interior Minister the security situation in Tripoli and the military and security coordination in the face of the attack launched by the LNA.


On Tuesday, Haftar met with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio and his accompanying delegation in Benghazi.


In a statement following the meeting, Haftar described the meeting as very positive, adding that they discussed the latest political developments and bilateral cooperation in all fields.


Upon returning to Italy, Di Maio announced that Haftar will pay Rome a visit in the coming weeks, affirming that he will stay in touch with Sarraj over the phone.


He also pointed out that the Italian government will soon appoint a special envoy to Libya in order to “establish a high-level, continuous and intensive political relationship with all Libyan parties.”


In the battlefield, forces loyal to Sarraj’s GNA in the coastal city of Sirte, some 450 kilometers east of Tripoli, have admitted to coming under an LNA air attack that left two people dead and three wounded.


In other news, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Heiko Maas discussed Wednesday the situation in Libya, according to a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry and reported by Sputnik.


Regarding Berlin's plan to hold the Libya conference, the statement said the situation in Libya was discussed with a focus on promoting a political settlement through a comprehensive dialogue with the participation of all parties to the conflict.


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