Libya: Macron seeks role to calm tensions

French President Emmanuel Macron had phone conversations “over the last two days” with Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and eastern commander Khalifa Haftar in a bid to ease tensions in the North African country, the French presidency said late Monday.

Expressing “deep concerns about the last developments,” Macron told the rival parties that “there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict,” urging them “to act immediately to end the fighting and ease tension.”

“France will spare no effort to bring together, with its international partners, Libyan actors around a durable political solution,” the Elysee said.

The French president had also spoken by phone with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the situation in Libya.

The eastern-based military forces led by Haftar on Thursday launched a military operation attempting to take over western Libya, the capital Tripoli in particular, where the UN-backed government is based. The government forces there have fought back.

The Haftar-led army is allied with Libya’s eastern-based government. The politically divided country has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid clashes and chaos since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi’s government in 2011.