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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud

US Mediates between Libyan Rivals

The remains of a car damaged in clashes stands in a street in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Friday, July 22 2022. (AP)

The United States’ Ambassador to Libya has again sought to mediate between Libyan rivals to end the current tensions that have led to clashes in the North African country.

Richard Norland held talks with prime ministers Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity, and Fathi Bashagha, who was named by the east-based parliament.

“I was encouraged in calls this evening with GNU PM Dbeibah and Fathi Bashagha to hear both leaders commit themselves to avoiding violence and finding ways to deescalate the situation in the wake of the recent tragic deaths,” said Norland according to the US embassy on Sunday.

“I relayed deep concerns on the part of Bashagha that his rights to political expression were being threatened, including by armed groups, and I also relayed concerns by Dbeibah about steps he considered destabilizing to public order,” he added.

“Fundamental to disagreements between the parties is the issue of legitimacy, which can only be resolved through elections. We discussed in each call possible steps that could be taken to restore momentum toward elections as soon as possible,” he remarked.

Bashagha said he agreed with the ambassador on the need to end the tensions, adding that the solution to the problems in Libya lies in reaching a settlement that appeases all sides.

He stressed his keenness on the security and safety of civilians and the need to hold transparent and free elections through which the “group of deep-rooted corruption that have seized the state and are hampering its rise” can be eliminated.

Sixteen people have been killed and 52 injured in renewed fighting between rival militias in Tripoli.

Clashes were also reported in the city of Misrata last week.

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