In an implied reference to Khalifa Haftar's coup on the political process, the US ambassador Richard Norland and the Speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) Aqila Saleh spoke on Thursday on the phone and agreed on the importance of respect for democratic processes and the need to avoid individual attempts to unilaterally dictate Libya’s political future using armed force.
According to a statement by the US embassy, the US ambassador and Saleh said there is no military solution in Libya, rejecting an approach of imposing facts on the ground and reiterating the importance of continuing UNSMIL-facilitated negotiations.
The statement also said that ambassador Norland and Saleh had discussed the Berlin Conference and the need for all participants to live up to their commitments not to interfere militarily in Libya.
"HoR Speaker Saleh noted in his initiative that the time has come to end infighting among Libyans, while ambassador Norland highlighted the importance of counter-terrorism and the risk that continued conflict will open space for terrorist elements to regroup across the country." The statement reads.
Regarding the call for a Ramadan ceasefire by Haftar's forces, the US ambassador expressed the hope that building on that statement, the parties could take serious steps for the future of Libyans and return to negotiations under UN auspices for a lasting ceasefire in the 5+5 format, as agreed in Geneva on February 23.
The statement also reiterated that the United States "encourages all voices genuinely committed to peace and stability in Libya to take part in shaping the country’s political future".
Last week, Haftar and Saleh's relationship was disturbed as the former declared himself a mandated ruler of Libya and toppled the Libyan Political Agreement.