ISTANBUL (AA) – Egypt on Tuesday called for restraint in Libya amid clashes between rival armed groups in the capital Tripoli.
Clashes erupted in Tripoli between armed groups loyal to Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and rival leader Fathi Bashagha, who was recently appointed as premier by the Tobruk-based parliament.
Bashagha reached the capital overnight to take control of the government from Dbeibeh, who refused to hand over power.
However, a security source told Anadolu Agency that Bashagha was forced to leave the capital after fierce clashes were reported between the two sides.
“Egypt is following with grave concern the developments in Tripoli and underlines the necessity to maintain calm in Libya,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It called on the Libyan parties “to refrain from taking any steps that could fuel violence”, calling for dialogue to hold elections in the conflict-ridden country.
For more than two months, there have been two governments in Libya: the national unity government led by Dbeibeh and the one granted confidence in early March by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.
Dbeibeh has previously said he would only cede authority to a government that comes through an “elected parliament,” raising fears that the oil-rich country could slip back into a civil war.