US says Haftar’s affiliation with Russian Wagner Group is against Libyan and American interests

Russian mercenaries in Libya. [Photo: Social Media]
The US has warned Khalifa Haftar’s forces that their affiliation with a Russian paramilitary force and perpetuation of the oil shutdown contradict the interests of Washington and Libya.

“The US delegation emphasized that the LNA’s affiliation with the Wagner group, a Russian Ministry of Defense proxy, and perpetuation of the oil shutdown are at odds with US and Libyan interests, undermine Libyan sovereignty, and increase the risk of conflict that could damage critical oil infrastructure,” US State Department said Thursday in a statement.

Since January, Haftar’s forces under LNA banner have shut down oil facilities in the central and eastern parts to damage the economy and put pressure on the UN-recognized Libyan government.

The statement came after a virtual meeting between officials of President Donald Trump’s administration and representatives of Haftar’s forces for addressing issues related to militias across Libya.

It underlined that both delegations reaffirmed a desire to de-escalate the conflict and find sustainable solutions.

The US delegation reaffirmed that armed groups that “attempt to spoil the political process or engage in destabilizing acts must not be tolerated – and risk international sanctions.”

Washington raised its opposition to all foreign interference in Libya and discussed the imperative of an immediate ceasefire and return to UN-facilitated security and political negotiations, according to the statement.

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