'Libya's internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has called on US President Donald Trump to stop foreign support for "aspiring military dictator" Khalifa Haftar as his forces continue their all-out offensive to take over the capital Tripoli.
Backed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) led by renegade general Haftar launched a deadly campaign last month to invade and conquer Tripoli, where the GNA headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj is based.
Sarraj told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that Haftar's US-allied backers were turning Libya into a proxy battleground and risking a war that could trigger further mass migration to Europe.
Serraj said hundreds of Libyans had been killed since Haftar’s LNA forces launched the offensive on April 4, more than 40,000 had been forced to leave their homes and "hundreds of thousands" could flee for Europe.”
"The GNA is fighting an aspiring military dictator -- Khalifa Haftar -- whose rival government is taking money and arms from foreign actors pursuing narrow self-interest at Libya's expense," the Libyan prime minister said.
"To prevent a bloody civil war with global implications, Libya needs the US to help stop other countries from meddling in our affairs," he added. "I remain hopeful that President Trump will succeed where previous presidents have failed...Libyans won't accept another Gaddafi-style military dictatorship."
The appeal came a day after the Tripoli-based government asked 40 foreign companies, including France's Total, to renew their licenses or have their operations suspended in the North African country, a move that placed economic pressure on Europe to stop Haftar's offensive.
European countries, including Italy and France, have taken a strong interest in Libya, both because of its natural resources and because of its status as a leading departure point for refugees and asylum seekers attempting to enter Europe across the Mediterranean Sea.
The supporters of the GNA also say France has blocked resolutions at the UN Security Council, the European Union, and other international organizations opposing Haftar’s takeover attempt.'
Read more: Libya’s GNA urges Trump to stop foreign support for Haftar