France mends fences with Tripoli govt over troops

2016-08-02 19:00
Libya's Prime Minister, Fayez al-Sarraj demanded an explanation for the presence of French troops in Libya (File, AFP).

Libya's Prime Minister, Fayez al-Sarraj demanded an explanation for the presence of French troops in Libya (File, AFP).

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - France on Tuesday reaffirmed its "full support" for Libya's unity government, seeking to mend fences after the interim leader demanded an explanation for the presence of French troops in the east of the conflict-ridden country.

Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Government of National Accord (GNA), had last Monday told French ambassador Antoine Sivan that their presence was a "violation of international customs" and "unacceptable interference".

He was speaking a few days after France's President Francois Hollande confirmed that his country had soldiers in Libya, after three French troops were killed there during an intelligence-gathering mission.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault spoke to Sarraj by telephone to "renew the full support of France to the national unity government acting to unify Libya and restore its institutions", the French foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

France recognises the GNA but also supports forces that are loyal to a parliament and government based in the country's east that are refusing to recognise and cede power to the UN-backed administration.

Ayrault "reaffirmed France's wish to reinforce its co-operation with this [Tripoli-based] government in all domains, starting with security and the fight against terrorism," the ministry said in a statement.

The French prime minister also "hailed the decision of the Libyan authorities to appeal for international aid, which led notably to American air strikes on terrorist targets in [eastern] Sirte", the statement said.

US warplanes carried out their first air strikes on positions of the Islamic State group in Sirte on Monday at the request of the GNA.

Forces loyal to the GNA have been fighting to retake Sirte from the Islamic State group after the jihadists overran the city - 450km east of the capital - in June 2015.

Read more on:    france  |  libya

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.