Libya talks to go ahead despite new fighting: United Nations envoy

Libya talks to go ahead despite new fighting: United Nations envoy

Libya talks to go ahead despite new fighting: United Nations envoy

Fierce fighting is continuing around the site of the city's worldwide airport at Wadi Al Rabea, with Field Marshall Haftar's Libya National Army (LNA) claiming to have captured the airport.

The renegade general ordered his Libyan National Army to take the city earlier this week, with troops loyal to the government saying they will resist the move and stop Haftar and his men.

The escalation comes after forces commanded by Haftar, who runs the self-styled Libya National Army based in the country's east, pushed westward.

The airport has not been functional since fighting in 2014 destroyed much of the facility. However it said two of its soldiers had been wounded in clashes in a nearby area.

The Zawiya militia is one of dozens that have proliferated since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 and are variously aligned with the UN-backed unity government in the capital and a rival administration in the east backed by Haftar's forces.

On Thursday, Haftar reportedly announced in a voice recording released that they had launched an offensive to seize Tripoli.

As fresh fighting flared south of Tripoli, LNA forces said they had been targeted by an air raid.

On Saturday, a source with the Libyan Presidential Guard told Anadolu Agency that Haftar forces were still in control of Qasr bin Ghashir as GNA forces were mobilizing forces to relaunch a campaign to recapture areas under Haftar's control.

"I leave Libya with a heavy heart and deeply concerned".

"The UN is committed to facilitating a political solution and, whatever happens, the UN is committed to supporting the Libyan people", Guterres said.

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The renewed fighting came a day after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived for his first visit to Libya as UN chief.

In December Haftar met Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj from the UN-backed government at a conference but refused to attend official talks.

Haftar believes that "a national conference is a forum in which all the actors must. show they are willing to accept his absolute supremacy", said Jalel Harchaoui, research fellow at The Hague-based Clingendael Institute.

It statement noted that militias affiliated with the GNA and based in western Libya "also have a record of abuses against civilians".

Diplomats from G7 countries, which includes the U.S., France, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, were working on a joint statement on the fight against trafficking drugs, arms and migrants in Africa's troubled Sahel region, fighting cybercrime and stopping sexual violence against women in conflict zones, especially in Africa.

Filipinos bound to Libya are "strongly advised" by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to postpone their trips amid the ongoing tension in that country.

The UN Security Council held an emergency closed-door meeting on Friday at Britain's request and called on Haftar's forces to halt all military movements.

The appeal was unanimously backed by the council, including Russian Federation, which has previously supported the 75-year-old.

The G7 group of major industrial nations has urged all parties "to immediately halt all military activity".

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