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Libya demands departure of foreign forces, mercenaries

Foreign ministers of France, Germany and Italy meet their Libyan counterpart in Tripoli.

Libya’s Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush called Thursday for the departure of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the country.

“We reiterate the need for the immediate departure of all mercenaries from Libya,” al-Mangoush said in a joint press conference in Tripoli with her French, German and Italian counterparts.

The top Libyan diplomat called for accelerating the return of foreign embassies and missions in Libya, and facilitating the issuance of visas to Libyans.

“Libya’s stability positively impacts all neighboring countries, including Europe,” al-Mangoush said.

On March 15, Libya’s new unity government headed by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh was sworn in by the Libyan Parliament.

Libyans hope the government will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.

The war was exacerbated when warlord Khalifa Haftar, supported by several countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia, and France, carried out a military onslaught to topple the Tripoli-based internationally recognized government for control of the North African country.

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