EU states and the US have urged a Russia-backed Libyan warlord to hand back oil ports, after a US warning that Russia was trying to do in Libya what it did in Syria.
The British, French, Italian, and US ambassadors to Libya said oil facilities “belong to the Libyan people and must remain under the exclusive control” of central authorities.
Their joint statement, on Tuesday (14 March), also voiced “strong concern regarding violence in the oil crescent” and called for “an end to hostilities”.
They spoke after Khalifa Haftar, a Russia-backed warlord, said on Facebook that he had captured the ports of Ras Lanuf and al-Sidra, two of Libya’s main oil terminals.
His assault included 1,300 ground troops and air strikes, the Libyan military said.
The EU and US are helping the UN-recognised Libyan government, the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, to extend its control over the country.
The EU is also working with the GNA to stop migrants after 181,000 people came via Libya to claim asylum in Europe last year.