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United States wants withdrawal of all foreign troops from Libya


The United States, which is scheduled to participate in this weekend’s Libya peace conference in Germany is expected to call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the war-ravaged nation and a resumption of the UN-backed peace process.

The US State Department said on Thursday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, would however prioritise efforts to reach a truce between warring warring factions.

“The imperative would be the continuation of the ceasefire,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar walked away from talks in Moscow this week without signing a permanent truce orchestrated by Russia and Libya.

But German Foreign minister Heiko Maas flew to Benghazi to see Haftar and said the general had agreed to join the Berlin talks and abide by the ceasefire.

The United States backed the European-driven military campaign on behalf of rebels that toppled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but more recently has played a low-key role.

Other foreign powers have become increasingly active in the civil war, with Turkey backing the internationally recognized government in Tripoli and Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt among the supporters of Haftar, who has launched a deadly bid to take Tripoli.

The United States officially backs the Government of National Unity but maintains contacts with Haftar, whom President Donald Trump praised after a telephone call last year.

READ MORE: who is backing who in Libya?Photo Credit: Lashic Patterson/US Army/AFP

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