Libyan PM in Tripoli accuses France of supporting ‘dictator’ Haftar

The head of the internationally recognized government in Tripoli accused France on Wednesday of supporting his rival, Khalifa Haftar, who he described as a “dictator.”

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s comments to the Liberation and Le Monde newspapers in France were his harshest criticism yet of Paris, which has long been suspected of offering backing to Haftar.

The former army field marshal is based in eastern Libya and heads the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA). Haftar has gradually expanded his territorial control and launched an offensive on April 4 on the capital Tripoli where Sarraj’s UN-recognized government is based.

Speaking to Le Monde on Monday, Sarraj said France was partly to blame for Haftar’s offensive on Tripoli, which has led to 264 deaths and over 1,200 wounded, AFP reported. Paris has denied the accusations of supporting Haftar, saying it has contact with all the actors in Libya.

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