13:59 GMT +322 October 2019
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    An aerial shot taken from a helicopter shows the Libyan capital Tripoli. (File)

    Libyan Interim PM Says No Clashes Amid Unity Gov't Arrival in Tripoli

    © AFP 2019 / MAHMUD TURKIA
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    The situation in Libya's capital Tripoli is volatile, but no clashes have taken place following the arrival of Presidential Council members, the Libyan interim government's Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj said Thursday.

    ROME (Sputnik) — Several members of the Libyan UN-backed Presidential Council, which is chaired by Sarraj, reportedly arrived in Tripoli by sea on Wednesday amid threats of arrest by competing factions. The Tripoli-based self-proclaimed General National Congress had threatened to close the capital's airspace to prevent the interim government members from arriving.

    "As regards the current situation in the country's capital city, Serraj said that there have been no clashes although the situation remains volatile. Minister Gentiloni reiterated Italy's support to the government of national accord and to any action designed to expand and consolidate the consensus for it," Sarraj told Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in a phone conversation, as quoted in the Italian ministry's press release.

    The Presidential Council is determined to press for dialogue, the prime minister said, adding that all parties must work to consolidate the Government of National Accord and stabilize the country, according to the statement.

    Libya has been in a state of turmoil for years after the Arab Spring protests in early 2011 led to a civil war and the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

    In December, Libya’s rival governments — the internationally-recognized Council of Deputies based in Tobruk and the Tripoli-based General National Congress — agreed to create a Government of National Accord to end the political struggle.


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