Forces affiliated with Libya’s Tripoli-based government are “capable of defeating the aggressor”, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said Monday, referring to military commander Khalifa Haftar’s recent attempt to capture the capital.
Al-Sarraj made the remarks at a Monday meeting in Tripoli with Italian Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Buccino, according to a statement released by al-Sarraj's office.
“Libyans want to live in a democratic civilian state,” the statement quoted al-Sarraj as saying at the meeting.
Monday’s meeting reportedly tackled recent developments in the troubled North African country, along with the repercussions of Haftar's aborted military campaign.
Buccino, for his part, voiced his country's condemnation of Haftar’s campaign, which, he said, had “threatened the lives of civilians”.
“Haftar’s forces should now return to where they came from,” the Italian diplomat was quoted as saying.
Last Thursday, Haftar launched military operations with the stated aim of capturing Tripoli. After registering several initial successes, however, the campaign on Monday appeared to have ground to a halt.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.
Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power: one in the eastern city of Bengazi, with which Haftar is associated, and another in Tripoli, which has the UN’s support.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.