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Who is Libyan National Army leader Khalifa Hifter?

Who is Libyan National Army leader Khalifa Hifter?

"I'm leaving Libya with deep concern and with a heavy heart", said Antionio Guterres.

"The UN is committed to facilitating a political solution and, whatever happens, the UN is committed to supporting the Libyan people", Guterres said. Both the Libyan National Army and the United Nations -backed government have various militias supporting them.

The moves, supported by statements from official LNA sources that Haftar had personally given military orders for his troops to enter the city and instructed its 1.2 million inhabitants to put up white flags in their homes if they wished to stay safe, prompted widespread alarm and condemnation.

As well as visiting Haftar in Benghazi, UN boss Guterres had been in Tripoli this week to help organise a national reconciliation conference planned for later this month.

Reporting from the French coastal city of Dinard, where G7 foreign ministers were meeting to prepare for a grouping summit in August, FRANCE 24's Robert Parsons said there appeared to be unity amongst the worldwide community on the need to make sure Haftar "toes the line".

Each country would use its own channels, said Maas, adding that Italy and France had direct contacts with Libya. The Zawiya militia is one of dozens that have proliferated since the overthrow of veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 and are variously aligned with the UN-backed unity government in the capital and a rival administration in the east backed by Haftar's forces. They also briefly seized a checkpoint to the west of Tripoli but were again driven back.

"We strongly condemn the air raid.in the al-Aziziya region" by a jet, which had taken off from western Misrata, said the media office of the eastern forces. An LNA source confirmed 128 had been captured.

Pro-GNA forces have amassed in Tripoli in a bid to push-back the LNA offensive, with military units and detachments arriving from cities such Misrata and Zawiya, he added.

"My aim remains the same: avoid a military confrontation".

The United Nations wants to find agreement on a road map for elections to resolve the protracted instability in Libya, an important oil exporter and transit point for refugees and migrants trekking across the Sahara with the objective of reaching Europe across the Mediterranean Sea to the north.

Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar's forces say they have taken full control over the former Tripoli International Airport, 34km from the city.

On Thursday, Saleh welcomed the offensive.

The forces allied to Haftar also said they took control of the villages of Qasr ben Ghashir, Wadi al Rabie and Suq al Khamis south of Tripoli, in a statement.

The EU, for instance, is making strenuous efforts to ensure that the U.S. is seen to be telling Haftar to back off, and to tell his three principle external supporters - Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - to do the same.

Diplomats from G7 countries, which includes the U.S., France, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, were working on a joint statement on the fight against trafficking drugs, arms and migrants in Africa's troubled Sahel region, fighting cybercrime and stopping sexual violence against women in conflict zones, especially in Africa.

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