Libyan ceasefire violations, oil field ceasefire worry Italy


Rome: The crumbling ceasefire between Libya's belligerent factions deeply worries Italy and the ongoing oil blockade by the Eastern Armed Forces is "unacceptable," Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said Tuesday, according to diplomatic sources.

During a phone call with his German and Austrian counterparts, Di Maio expressed "deep concern" about the ceasefire violations earlier this month between militias supporting the internationally recognized government in Tripoli and those loyal to the eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar resulted.

Di Maio reaffirmed Italy's full commitment to persuading Libyan belligerents to respect the ceasefire and resume dialogue, the sources said.

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Ministers also discussed the European Union's follow-up to this month's peace conference in Berlin, at which the world powers supported the ceasefire, called for an end to regional interference in Libya and the maintenance of a severely violated United Nations arms embargo.

Haftar's response to the Libya conference was the closure of the oil fields and resumption of Tripoli shelling, as part of an offensive to control the capital he launched in April.

Libyan oil chief Mustafa Sanalla warned Tuesday that his country was facing a "catastrophe" because Haftar's forces blocked oil ports for nine days and production fell from 1.2 million barrels a day to 260,000 barrels a day.