Libya’s UN-backed government stationed in capital Tripoli accused France of supporting Khalifa Haftar, who launched a military offensive to seize the capital.

Iran Press/Africa: Libyan Prime Minister 'Fayez al-Serraj' ordered his ministers to suspense all relations with France on Friday. Serraj's Interior minister 'Fathi Bach Agha' cited “the position of the French government in support of the criminal Haftar" as the reason.

French foreign ministry rejects accusations as disappointing and unfounded. Also French presidency office with releasing a statement called 'UN mediation for a political solution in Libya' and declared Paris support for 'Fayez al-Sarraj' as the legitimate government of Libya.

From early this month, General Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) attacked Tripoli where Serraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) is seated.

The attack has prompted intense fighting between LNA and GNA forces, threatening to push the country into a fully-grown civil war.

More than 200 killed as Haftar forces press attack on Tripoli

The fighting has killed more than 200 people and left more than 614 others wounded, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

France has supported Haftar in the past along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates because it is believed to be relying on oil imports from the regions under his control.

The LNA has almost two-thirds of the country and all oilfields under its control.

Paris is also adamant about maintaining its foothold in the African continent, even in the countries which gained independence almost six decades ago.

France played the leading role in a military campaign by NATO which led to the ouster of Libya's former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and plunged the country into the current crisis.

On Thursday, the United Nations’ envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame warned of "a widening conflagration" in the country.


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Libyan PM Fayez al-Serraj (L) French President Macron (M) General Khalifa Haftar (R)
More than 200 killed as Haftar forces press attack on Tripoli