By Walid Abdullah
TRIPOLI (AA) – The interior minister in Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) has told ministry officials to “stop dealing with France” due to the latter’s support for renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar.
Early this month, Haftar, who is affiliated with a rival government based in the country’s east, launched a military campaign to capture capital Tripoli, where the GNA is headquartered.
In a Thursday directive posted on Facebook, Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha ordered all ministry officials to halt all dealings with France, especially those pertaining to security agreements and military training.
Bashagha attributed the move to the French government's position “in support of the criminal Haftar”.
Despite two weeks of fighting on Tripoli’s outskirts that has left scores dead, Haftar’s forces have so far failed to capture the capital.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
Since then, the country has seen the emergence of two rival governments: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN recognition.
*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat