By Jeffrey Feltman. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Libya Business News.
In a late-night statement on April 7, Secretary of State Pompeo, discussing the escalation of fighting around Tripoli, said:
“We have made clear we oppose the military offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital.”
Pompeo noted that there was no military solution to Libya’s woes and urged Libyan leaders to return to U.N.-brokered political negotiations. This statement suggested that the U.S. government had jumped off the fence on which it had been perceived to be perched, landing solidly on the side of talking, not fighting.
With Haftar’s forces encountering greater resistance in Tripoli than anticipated, and given growing alarm about potential civilian casualties from indiscriminate attacks, Pompeo’s statement, met with relief in Tripoli, generated hope that a face-saving way to halt the fighting and resume preparations for a U.N.-facilitated national conference of Libya’s leaders might be possible.
(Source: Brookings Institution)