BEIRUT

Middle East

U.S., EU urge political solution in Libya's standoff

Libyans hold a banner (L) reading "Yes to dignity" during a demonstration to support "Operation Dignity", launched by retired general Khalifa Haftar on May 23, 2014 at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA

TRIPOLI: The U.S. Embassy and European diplomatic missions in Tripoli have expressed concern over the escalating violence in Libya as a renegade general's offensive against Islamists further splits the country.

The United States, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom urged for a political solution to the confrontation in a joint statement published Friday on the American Embassy's website.

The statement said all sides should "address differences by political means" and "refrain from the use of force."

It also urged Libya to hold parliamentary elections "as soon as possible."

Libya's renegade Gen. Khalifa Hifter has launched a week-long military offensive to crush Islamist militias backed by the country's Islamist-dominated parliament.

The campaign has drawn support from ranking officials, military officers and troops, and has plunged Libya into uncertainty.

 

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