US concerned about Libya conflict


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed American concerns over prolonged conflict in Libya in a phone call with his Egyptian counterpart and they agree on the need for a political solution, the State Department said.

Pompeo discussed co-operation to tackle the Islamic State and al-Qaeda militant groups with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, the department said in a statement.

“The Secretary and the Foreign Minister shared concern over prolonged violence and instability in Libya and agreed on the need to achieve a political solution to the conflict,” it said.

Egypt’s foreign ministry said they also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as crises in Syria and Yemen. On the Palestinian crisis, Shoukry “stressed the need to reach a comprehensive solution.”

Egypt, along with the United Arab Emirates, is a supporter of Libyan eastern commander Khalifa Haftar, whose Libya National Army (LNA) is trying to take Tripoli from forces allied with the internationally recognised government.

Turkey recently shipped arms to Tripoli to stop Haftar’s assault, according to diplomats.

The United Nations envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, called for a truce in the North African country and warned an influx of weapons from foreign supporters, in violation of an arms embargo, was fuelling the conflict.