Libyan government suspends peace talks after attack on Haftar port | News | DW

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The UN-backed Libyan government suspended peace talks in Geneva, following an attack on a strategic port in Tripoli on Tuesday evening.

“We announce the suspension of our participation in the military talks held in Geneva until strict positions are taken towards the aggressor and his violations,” the Government of National Accord (GNA) said in a statement.

“The militias hit the port of Tripoli which is considered a lifeline for many Libyan cities,” he added. The port of Tripoli is a major gateway for food, fuel and other supplies, to the capital and beyond. “The negotiations mean nothing without permanent ceasefire guarantees for the return of the displaced and the safety of the capital and other towns,” the GNA said.

Read more: War in Libya: UN Security Council adopts ceasefire resolution

The attack took place as senior army officers and major rebel forces began their second round of UN-brokered peace talks in Switzerland.

Despite UN attempt to advance peace talks, fighting around Tripoli continued

LPG tanker narrowly missed in attack

The forces of military commander Khalifa Haftar, the largest in a series of militias and rebel groups in Libya, are vying for control of the country with the internationally recognized government based in the capital, advancing on Tripoli in recent months.

Haftar’s forces said they attacked an arms and ammunition depot in the port “to weaken the combat capabilities of mercenaries arriving from Syria” to support Tripoli.

Turkey said Haftar’s forces fired at a Turkish ship near the port but “missed” the target. A presidential spokesman said Turkish forces retaliated.

Read more: Can the new EU arms embargo mission in Libya be effective?

Turkey has sent several ships carrying weapons, trucks and militias to Tripoli and the western port of Misrata, also held by the GNA, since January.

Libyan national oil company NOC said it had withdrawn all of its tankers from the port area after the near-accident attack on “a highly explosive liquefied petroleum gas tanker unloaded at the port.” NOC President Mustafa Sanalla said this “could have led to a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe”.

dvv / msh (AP, Reuters, dpa)


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