Libya’s Tripoli government to quit UN talks with Haftar forces

Libya’s Tripoli-based, U.N.-backed “national unity” government says that it has suspended talks with forces under the command of General Khalifa Haftar, following an attack by Haftar’s forces on the port of Tripoli Tuesday, which targeted a ship reportedly carrying weapons from Turkey.

The shelling attack on a cargo ship in Tripoli harbor by Libyan forces under eastern commander General Khalifa Haftar Tuesday appears to have dealt a set-back to U.N.-sponsored talks in Geneva, after members of the Tripoli-based “governing council” said they would no longer meet Haftar’s representatives.

Rival Libyan governments disputed the details of the attack on the Lebanese ship, which forces under Haftar claim was carrying weapons from Turkey. Sources in Tripoli dispute the claim and accuse Haftar of killing several civilians in the attack. Haftar’s forces deny the allegation.

Haftar met with Russian Defense Minister Serguei Shoigou in Moscow Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in Tripoli, after meeting with the top U.S. diplomat in Libya at Haftar’s headquarters in the eastern Libyan town of Rajmah, on Tuesday.

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