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France welcomes anti-terrorist victory in Libya's Benghazi

PARIS, July 6 (KUNA) -- France on Thursday welcomed a victory over terrorist groups and the retaking of the city of Benghazi by forces led by "Field Marshal" Khalifa Haftar, who nevertheless does not recognise the authority of the Western-backed government of Fayez Sarraj in Tripoli.
Hartar's forces have been laying siege to Benghazi for months after the city was taken over by so-called Islamic State and allied extremist forces.
"France welcomes all progress in the fight against terrorism, like that actually concluded by the forcest of General Haftar against terrorist groups present in Benghazi," the French Foreign Ministry said.
But Paris urged Haftar to integrate a Libyan army "under the authority of the civil power" as this would make the successes against terrorism lasting.
"Within this aim, and to arrive at an inclusive solution on the basis of an inter-Libyan agreement, France is working to restart the political process," the Foreign Ministry indicated.
France praised a recent meeting last May in the UAE between Haftar and Sarraj, saying this was "a first positive step." Paris also renewed support for UN efforts to broker a solution to the Libyan crisis. (end) jk.sd