Africa Libyan official hopes US’ Biden will back stability

Libyan official hopes US’ Biden will back stability

Libya’s interior minister voiced hopes that incoming US President Joe Biden will support efforts to achieve stability in his war-torn country.

“We hope that the new administration has a major role in Libya’s stability and reconciliation,” Fathi Bashagha said in an interview with the Associated Press published on Friday.

Biden is due to take office on Jan. 20.

Bashagha noted that the US played an important role in 2016 in the fight against the terror group Daesh/ISIS in the coastal city of Sirte.

He said his government has told Russia that Libya is ready for talks if Russian-supervised mercenaries leave, likely referring to the Wagner Group.

Bashagha also said his government is planning a crackdown on militants and human smugglers in western Libya in cooperation with Turkey. He also invited the US to help.

The Libyan government has been battling the militias of Khalifa Haftar since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

Under a security pact signed in fall 2019, Turkey has aided Libya’s legitimate government in its struggle.

On Oct. 23, the warring parties agreed on a cease-fire under UN mediation to pave the way for a political dialogue and settlement. However, Haftar militias have regularly breached the cease-fire.

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