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Intel: Pompeo, French counterpart discuss Libya war

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the situation in Libya today with French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, a State Department spokeswoman said in a statement.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian pose for a photo at the State Department in Washington, U.S., November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi - RC27BD95PIEM

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the situation in Libya today with French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

Ortagus said that they discussed “steps to reduce violence and advance a negotiated political solution to end the conflict in Libya.”

Why it matters: The UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord and forces led by strongman Khalifa Hifter’s self-styled Libya National Army agreed to resume cease-fire negotiations today. Hifter launched an ongoing offensive against Tripoli, the seat of the Government of National Accord, more than a year ago. While France formally backs the UN negotiations, it has reportedly provided clandestine support to Hifter. The United Arab Emirates and Russia are also backing Hifter’s forces, while Turkey is supporting the Government of National Accord.

What’s next: The Government of National Accord has made significant advances against Hifter’s militias in recent months, prompting him to reevaluate his strategy after pulling troops from the front lines near Tripoli.

Know more: The United States is considering dispatching troops to Tunisia to help contain the fallout from the Libya conflict, Pentagon Correspondent Jared Szuba reports.

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