France, Britain, Egypt, UAE, US, Italy call for immediate end of Libya violence

This picture taken on June 29, 2019 shows smoke plumes rising in Tajoura, south of the Libyan capital Tripoli, following a reported airstrike by forces loyal to retired general Khalifa Haftar. [AFP Photo]

France, Britain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Italy on Tuesday called for an immediate end of hostilities around and warned of attempts by "terrorist groups" to take advantage of the political void in . The six countries reiterated in a rare joint statement their deep concern over the ongoing hostilities in Tripoli, and urged a rapid return to the political process under the auspices of the United Nations.

Key powers including backers of a rebel leader called Tuesday for a halt to fighting in Libya, warning that bloodshed was aggravating a crisis on multiple fronts.

The United States, France, Britain and Italy joined Egypt and the United Arab Emirates -- two supporters, along with Saudi Arabia, of military strongman Khalifa Haftar -- in voicing "deep concern" over the violence around the capital Tripoli.

The six powers "call for an immediate de-escalation and halt to the current fighting, and urge the prompt return to the -mediated political process," a joint statement said.

They warned that the fighting "has fueled a growing humanitarian emergency," aggravating a crisis with migrants, and voiced fear that extremists would thrive in the security vacuum.

The countries "call on all parties to the Tripoli conflict to dissociate themselves from all such terrorists and individuals designated by the UN Sanctions Committee, and renew our commitment to see those responsible for further instability held accountable," they said.

Nearly 1,100 people have been killed in Haftar's months-long campaign to wrest control of from the UN-recognized Government of National Accord.

While backing the government, Western powers earlier this year sent mixed signals, with US President Donald Trump praising Haftar in a phone call and France and Italy welcoming him on visits.

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