Merkel urges Haftar to end crisis

 Merkel has urged Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar to end his Libyan National Army’s push on Tripoli, saying there can be no military solution to the country’s problems.

Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Thursday that the chancellor made the comments in a telephone call to Fayez al-Sarraj, the leader of the UN-backed transitional government in Tripoli. Seibert says Merkel “condemned the advance of General Haftar’s troops on Tripoli,” AP reports.

The German government urgently demands that Haftar and his supporters “immediately end all military operations,” according to the spokesman.

Forces loyal to the Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar continued their advance into the country’s capital and largest city Tripoli, the seat of the internationally-recognized and U.N.-backed government, despite calls from the international community urging for dialogue and threating sanctions.

Conflicting reports emerged Saturday about ongoing fighting over control in Tripoli between forces loyal to east Libya-based Haftar and opponents.

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