Libyan expats and the diplomatic mission in Egypt have announced their support for the operations of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Tripoli.
In a Monday statement, they said the army’s actions “derive its legitimacy” from the Libyan people, the House of Representatives in its capacity as the legislative authority, and the Interim Government in eastern Libya.
The Foreign Ministry of the Interim Government praised the Libyan diplomatic missions abroad for their support for the LNA’s war on “terrorism,” emphasizing the need to preserve the funds and property of the Libyan people and to provide services to citizens regardless of their political and regional affiliations.
Soon after the statement was released, the Libyan Foreign Minister of the east-based government, Abdul Hadi al-Hweij, met with the former secretary-general of the Progressive Democratic Party in Tunisia, Ahmed Najib Chebbi.
Hweij said the national army is “fighting terrorism on behalf of the Libyans and the world” and that the stability of Libya means the stability of Tunisia and the entire region.
However, Tunisia has prevented Hweij from holding a press conference on its territory, as the Interim Government is not recognized by the international community after the UN backed the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord in 2016.
The Libyan consulate in Tunisia, now belongs to the GNA, commended the position of the Tunisian government.
Tunisia, which shares a 500-kilometer border with Libya, is wary of the consequences of a second-week of fighting in Tripoli after the LNA launched a military operation on April 4 to take control of the city.
While the Tunisian Foreign Ministry called for the immediate cessation of fighting in Tripoli, it also renewed its call to the Libyan factions to seek a peaceful and consensual solution, describing the military escalation witnessed by Libya as “dangerous.”
Fighting in the southern suburbs of Tripoli has displaced 35,000 people, UN humanitarian coordinator for Libya Maria do Valle Ribeiro said Monday.
“Displacement is continuing at an increasing rate every day,” she added.
She warned that the numbers were “a minimal estimate of the impact” of the clashes.