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Libyan ceasefire breaches, oil field shutdown worry Italy

Tuesday - January 28, 2020 11:35 pm , Category : WORLD
Rome, Jan 28 (IANS/AKI) The crumbling truce between Libya's warring factions worries Italy "deeply" and the ongoing oil blockade by eastern forces is "unacceptable", Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday, according to diplomatic sources.
During phone conversations with his German and Austrian counterparts, Di Maio expressed "profound preoccupation" at the violations of the truce brokered earlier this month between militias backing the internationally recognised government in Tripoli and those loyal to eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar, according to the sources.
Di Maio reiterated Italy's total commitment to getting Libya's warring sides to respect the ceasefire and return dialogue, said the sources.
The ministers also discussed European Union follow-up to this month's peace conference in Berlin at which world powers backed the ceasefire, urged an end regional meddling in Libya and the upholding of a much-violated United Nations arms embargo.
Haftar's response to the Libya conference was to shut down the oilfields and resume shelling of Tripoli, part of an offensive to gain control the capital, which he launched in April.
Libya's oil chief Mustafa Sanalla warned Tuesday that his country faced "disaster" as a nine-day blockade of oil ports by Haftar's forces continued, causing output to plummet to 260,000 barrels a day from 1.2 million barrels previously.

--IANS/AKI
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