France expressses concern over tense situation in Libya

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has expressed his country’s concern over the current tense situation in Libya, stressing importance of Libya’s security and stability.

Le Drian made his remarks during a telephone call with Libya’s UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj on Thursday, where the two officials discussed the latest developments in Libya, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s information office.

“During the call, the French Foreign Minister expressed his country’s concern about the current tense situation (in Libya), stressing that France’s efforts are aimed at achieving stability in Libya, and that the interests of the Libyans, Libya’s neighbors, and Europe lie in Libya’s security and stability,” the statement said.

“Le Drian called for speeding up achievement of a cease-fire that would allow a return to the political track through the efforts of the United Nations and its central role, adding that Italy and France agree on this approach,” the statement added.

The French Foreign Minister expressed his country’s rejection to foreign interference of all kinds and sources in Libya, Xinhua news agency reported.

Serraj highlighted the recently discovered mass graves in the city of Tarhuna, as well as the deadly booby traps and landmines in the south of the capital Tripoli, stressing the need to bring those responsible to justice, the statement said.

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said Thursday that 130 Libyans were killed or injured by booby traps in the south of Tripoli over the past five weeks.

Serraj’s UN-backed government has accused the rival eastern-based army of planting landmines in conflict areas in southern Tripoli before their withdrawal.

The UN-backed government has been engaged in a deadly armed conflict for more than a year against the eastern-based army in and around Tripoli, before the government announced taking over all of western Libya after the withdrawal of the rival army.