LNA rules out political solution for Libyan crisis

A media officer of the Libyan National Army (LNA) rejected an initiative proposed by Prime Minister Faiez al-Sarraj to end the conflict in the country, saying “there is no guarantee for any political process in Libya now.”

“The political solution is not appropriate to resolve the Libyan crisis especially with the presence of battalions and armed groups in Tripoli,” Khaled Mahjoub, head of the Moral Guidance Department at the LNA, told the Russian news agency on Monday.

Sarrai, head of Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), announced on Sunday a new political initiative in a bid to move the conflict-wracked country beyond eight years of chaos.

“I present today a political initiative for a way out of crisis… (involving) simultaneous presidential and legislative elections before the end of 2019,” Sarraj said in a short speech broadcast by Libyan al-Wataniya TV, without specifying a date for polls.

He proposed a forum that would be attended by “influential national forces on the political and social scene, and supporters of a peaceful and democratic solution” to Libya’s crisis.

The European Union welcomed the initiative, emphasizing support for any constructive proposal, under the auspices of the United Nations, to move the political process in Libya forward and end the conflict and division.

Spokesperson for the EU foreign policy chief, Maya Kosyanchich, said in a statement that Sarraj’s initiative is a step in this direction, stressing that the EU will continue to support the Libyan people and the U.N. mission’s efforts to build lasting peace, and achieve stability and prosperity in the country, according to a Sunday statement.

The LNA launched an offensive to take the capital Tripoli in early April, but counter-attacks by forces loyal to the GNA have resulted in a stalemate on the southern outskirts.


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