Haftar’s two supporters, Russian Putin and Frenchman Macron call for ceasefire in Libya

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Friday called for a ceasefire in Libya and a return to dialogue, the Kremlin said in a statement following a phone call between the two leaders.Russia supports Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, and France is also suspected of favoring him – although Paris insists that he is neutral in the conflict.

Haftar has suffered a series of defeats in recent weeks against United Nations recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) forces.

France, Germany and Italy on Thursday called on forces in Libya to end the fighting and for outside parties to end all interference in order to resume political talks.

Macron also discussed with Putin “foreign interference in Libya”, including the presence of mercenaries from the Wagner group, a Russian paramilitary organization believed to be led by a Putin’s confidant, said an official.

According to the Kremlin website, Putin told Macron, “I know your mindset about organizing joint work on many of these topics. We will support your proposals in any way possible. ”

The French official said that during two hours of talks, Putin also invited Macron to Russia and that the French president agreed, although no date has been set.

The visit would probably take place “in the coming months” and “before the end of the year”, although the coronavirus crisis must be taken into account, said the official.

The Kremlin also said that Putin had invited “dear Emmanuel” to visit Russia.

The French leader had planned to attend events in Red Square last month to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany.

But the event was canceled following the pandemic, although it took place – without Macron present – in Moscow on Wednesday.

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