The Latest: Russia FM opposes attempts to lay blame in Libya
CAIRO (AP) — The Latest on developments in Libya (all times local):
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says his country is opposing unilateral attempts to determine who is to blame in Libya.
Lavrov’s comments come hours after the U.N. Security Council called on the forces of rival Libyan army commander Khalifa Hifter to halt all military movements and urged all forces in Libya “to de-escalate and halt military activity.”
Hifter, leader of the self-styled Libya National Army, has deployed his forces to seize Tripoli, the seat of Libya’s U.N.-backed government, sparking fears of a major showdown with rival militias.
Lavrov says Moscow is in touch with all parties to the conflict in Libya and backed efforts by all political forces in the country to reach a mutual agreement. He was speaking in a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart on Saturday in Cairo.
Forces loyal to rival Libyan army commander Khalifa Hifter say they have seized control of the main airport in Libya’s capital Tripoli, two days after Hifter ordered his forces to seize the seat of Libya’s U.N.-backed government.
Hifter’s media office says Saturday that troops also captured the area of Wadi el-Rabeia, south of Tripoli, amid clashed with rival militias.
The airport has not been functional since fighting in 2014 destroyed much of the facility.
There was no immediate statement from the U.N.-backed government, the militias that support it, or the U.N..
Hifter’s forces have sparked fears of a major showdown with the militias.
Such a conflict could plunge Libya into another spasm of violence, possibly the worst since the 2011 civil war that toppled and later killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi