19:42 GMT21 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Prime Minister of the Tripoli-based UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez Sarraj accused the Libyan National Army (LNA) commander, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, of violating political agreements concluded under the auspices of the United Nations.

    "We have stretched out the hand of peace, but the aggression of Haftar's forces and declaration of war against our cities and our capital, and therefore violation of political agreements by him, will only make us resolute and give us strength," Sarraj said in a televised statement.

    The situation in Libya escalated on Thursday as Haftar ordered an offensive to retake Tripoli from the GNA-backed forces. The LNA has already recaptured a number of settlements on its way to the capital, while Sarraj has ordered its troops to use force if necessary.

    LNA spokesman Ahmed Al-Mismari said on Friday that Haftar's army was carrying out an offensive on Tripoli in several directions at once but has not yet entered the capital.

    READ MORE: French Foreign Minister: Libyan Crisis Can Only Be Resolved by Political Means

    As a result of years-long civil conflict, there is no single central government in Libya, and the country's eastern and western parts are controlled by separate powers. The Tobruk-based parliament, elected in 2014 and backed by the LNA, governs the east of Libya, while the GNA, established in 2015, controls Libya's western parts from Tripoli.

    In late 2015, the parties to the conflict signed a Libyan Political Agreement in the Moroccan city of Skhirat, outlining the creation of the GNA as the legitimate interim Libyan government, however, the deal was not fully implemented due to the eastern-based parliament’s disagreement over some of its provisions.


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    crisis, agreements, violation, Khalifa Haftar, Fayez Sarraj, Libya
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