Italy's Conte voices concern over Libyan strife

Italy's Conte voices concern over Libyan strife

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ROME (AP) — Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte voiced deep concern Tuesday over the strife in Libya and urged all parties involved to hold peace talks.

Following a meeting in Rome with the head of Libya's UN-backed government, Conte warned that the country was at a particularly dangerous point as rival militias fight for control of the capital, Tripoli.

"The scenario is critical, and can develop in an even more critical fashion from one moment to the next," he told journalists after talks with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj.

He added that he hopes soon to meet Sarraj's main rival, Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter who heads the self-styled Libyan National Army that launched a drive on Tripoli in early April.

Sarraj travelled to Rome in a bid to shore up support for his government.

Libya slid into chaos after a 2011 uprising, in which rebels overthrew and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi and looted his vast arsenal.

Hifter, a military officer under Gadhafi who defected in the 1980s, now controls most of eastern Libya, including the country's main oil facilities, and has recently made inroads across the south.

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