France blocks EU call to stop Haftar’s war on Tripoli

French Foreign Minister Le Drian and Dignity Operation commander in east Libya Khalifa Haftar meeting in east . Libya on December 21, 2017. (Photo: Internet)

France on Wednesday blocked a European Union statement calling on Khalifa Haftar to halt his eastern forces’ offensive in Libya, diplomatic sources told Reuters.

The draft statement, seen by Reuters, would have said that the military attack launched by Haftar on Tripoli was “endangering the civilian population, disrupting the political process and risks further escalation with serious consequences for Libya and the wider region, including the terrorist threat.”

France blocked the draft statement, which was drawn up in Brussels, through a process by which individual EU member governments could voice objections. The EU will now try to draw up a new text on which everyone can agree.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday the bloc was united in calling for a truce and a return to diplomacy in Libya.

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