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German chancellor urges Haftar to respect cease-fire

BERLIN

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has met Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar in Berlin and urged steps to achieve a cease-fire and a political process in the war-torn country, her office said on Tuesday.

Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a written statement that the chancellor met Haftar in Berlin to discuss the recent developments in Libya.

“The chancellor has reaffirmed that there can be no military solution to this conflict, and therefore it is necessary to achieve a cease-fire and progress for a political process in line with the conclusions of the Berlin Conference,” he stressed.

Merkel hosted two months ago an international Libya conference in Berlin, where global powers and regional actors expressed commitment to support a cease-fire, respect arms embargo and support the UN-facilitated political process.

A tentative truce reached in January has been repeatedly violated by the forces loyal to Haftar, killing at least 21 civilians, according to Libya’s internationally recognized government.

Libya’s legitimate government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 people killed in the violence.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

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