The United States has warned what it described as “Libyan National Army” led by putschist Khalifa Haftar that its affiliation with a Russian paramilitary force (Wagner Group) and perpetuation of oil shutdowns contradict the interests of both Washington and Libya.
“The U.S. delegation emphasized that the LNA’s affiliation with the Wagner group, a Russian Ministry of Defense proxy, as well as the perpetuation of the oil shutdown are at odds with U.S. and Libyan interests, undermine Libyan sovereignty, and increase the risk of conflict that could damage critical oil infrastructure,” the US State Department said Thursday in a statement.
The statement came after a virtual meeting between officials of President Donald Trump’s administration and representatives of Haftar’s militias, in order to address issues related to militias across Libya.
The statement outlined that both delegations had reaffirmed a desire to deescalate the conflict and find sustainable solutions.
In the meantime, 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.”
According to the statement, the US stressed 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.
The US and the UN as well as the international community recognize the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj as the country’s legitimate authority.