Libya in focus at G7 foreign ministers meeting, minus Pompeo

DINARD, France (Reuters) – Foreign ministers from the G7 group of countries will talk about the specter of a resurgence in Libya’s civil warfare at a gathering in western France on Friday, as world powers scrambled to defuse a harmful escalation in the oil producer’s energy battle.

A navy advance in direction of Tripoli and Libya’s U.N. backed authorities by japanese commander Khalifa Haftar has taken the United Nations unexpectedly, simply as its secretary basic was in the capital to plan a peace convention later this month.

Shortly earlier than the summit started, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt mentioned the G7 was monitoring the scenario with quite a lot of concern.

“Libya is likely to be at the heart of exchanges today and tomorrow. It will be looked at in detail, hopefully to allow us to move forward and avoid the situation getting worse,” a senior French diplomat mentioned.

Concern over Libya’s stability is heightened by persevering with political tensions round Europe over migration from north Africa, even if the numbers of recent arrivals in Europe by way of the central Mediterranean have plummeted.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian welcomed his counterparts from the membership of massive wealthy nations beneath a uninteresting grey sky in Brittany, for a gathering overshadowed by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s absence and Britain’s Brexit meltdown.

French diplomats say Paris has scaled again its ambitions for France’s presidency of the membership of massive wealthy international locations, after U.S. President Donald Trump threw final 12 months’s summit in Canada into disarray, backing out of a joint communique and firing barbs at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The French diplomat sought to downplay Pompeo’s snub saying: “We’re working well with the Americans. Yes, we have differences on some subjects, but that isn’t holding back the quality of our dialogue.”


Workers at daybreak had furiously scrubbed away at graffiti spray-painted onto buildings close to the safe zone in Dinard that attacked capitalism and President Emmanuel Macron.

The slogans screamed “Thieving banks”, “Revolution” and “No to the G7”, mirroring the anger vented throughout France in 5 months of anti-government “yellow vest” protests fueled by perceptions of a rising rich-poor divide and aloof politicians.

The summit is predicted to end result in three joint statements on cyber safety, sexual violence in opposition to girls in armed battle and trafficking in the Sahel area, and never an excessive amount of wrangling over points the place there may be much less consensus similar to Iran and Russia.

Britain’s Hunt mentioned he would use the summit to name on his European counterparts to assist his authorities’s request for a brief delay to Britain’s exit from the EU.

British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote to Brussels on Friday asking for a delay of Brexit till as much as June 30, whereas saying she goals to get Britain out of the EU earlier to keep away from it collaborating in European elections.

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“What we are looking for is to avoid a long extension,” Hunt mentioned. “We are a democracy with a hung parliament, so it’s not easy.”

Hunt mentioned the G7 was proof Britain wouldn’t play a diminished worldwide function after Brexit.

Reporting by Marine Pennetier and Julie Carriat; extra reporting by William James in London, Editing by Peter Graff, William Maclean

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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