US pledges to support Libya unity regime under UN plan


Washington (AFP)

The United States renewed its support for Libya's UN-backed government Friday and urged all parties in the country to get behind efforts to organize elections.

President Donald Trump welcomed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj to the White House shortly after the Libyan visited the State Department for talks with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

After the first meeting, Tillerson's spokeswoman issued a statement supporting "the Libyan people's efforts to build a more stable, unified, and prosperous future."

To that end, Tillerson promised continuing US support for Sarraj's Government of National Accord (GNA), which still struggles to exert control across a Libya beset by factional fighting.

UN envoy Ghassan Salame has advanced a plan to encourage national reconciliation and a move towards national polls that might finally unify Libya under one elected regime.

"Secretary Tillerson underscored that the United States continues to urge all Libyan parties to engage constructively with Special Representative Salame's mediation," the State Department said.

Despite international support, Sarraj's GNA has struggled to impose its will on militias and lost ground to a rival eastern administration backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

In September, the United Nations launched a new plan to bring stability to Libya, which has been in chaos since the 2011 NATO-backed popular revolt against Moamer Kadhafi's regime.