US Ambassador: We do not support any party in the Libyan conflict

US Ambassador: We do not support any party in the Libyan conflict

October 27, 2020 - 11:36
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Written By: SafaAlharathy

The US ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, has reiterated that his country does not support any party in the Libyan conflict.

In an interview with the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Norland said that Libyans are tired of war, and there is a growing consensus among them that the solution to the conflict should be through political dialogue and not military force.

He praised the decision of the Presidential Council's head Fayez Al-Sarraj to step down from his post, considering it an "unprecedented and courageous" step, but said he wished he would stay longer until power changes are possible, as he put it.

The US ambassador spoke of his recent visit to Egypt and Turkey, where he met officials, including prominent leaders in the intelligence services, explaining that the aim was to encourage Cairo and Ankara to consult directly as a way to avoid miscalculations in Libya.

Regarding his country's proposal of making the cities of Sirte and al-Jufra demilitarized zones, the ambassador pointed out that this means forming joint police forces or civil security personnel, who are most likely to remain in those areas after demilitarizing the region.

"Any armed groups, including Wagner fighters, will only undermine the confidence-building measures between the Government of National Accord and Haftar's forces," Norland said.

"There is no doubt that the Wagner Group is acting on behalf of the Russian government, and its activities contribute to instability in Libya," he added.

He indicated it is unlikely for foreign fighters to withdraw from western Libya while Wagner group continues to reinforce its presence in the east.