Antonio Guterres ends Libyan trip

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for 'calm and restraint' amid ongoing violence in Libya. Photo : AFP

NEWSROOM (ADV) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday concluded a visit to Libya, where he met with senior officials of the country.

“I leave Libya with a deep concern. I still hope it will be possible to avoid a bloody confrontation in and around Tripoli,” Guterres told reporters before departing from the eastern city of Benghazi.

The UN chief’s visit comes as the country is witnessing military escalation between the UN-backed government and the eastern-based army that is trying to take control of the capital Tripoli.

“The UN remains available to facilitate any political solution able to unify the Libyan institutions. Whatever happens, the UN will remain committed, and I will remain committed, to support the Libyan people,” Guterres said. “Libyans deserve peace, security, prosperity and respect of the human rights.”

The military escalation comes as the country prepares to hold a UN-sponsored national conference that is expected to gather many Libyan parties, with the aim to end the country’s political crisis.

The army, led by Khalifa Haftar, on Thursday launched an operation to take over the capital Tripoli where the UN-backed government is based.

Haftar’s army is allied with the eastern-based government, as the country is politically divided between western and eastern governments.

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