Libya Reopens Highway Linking Its East And West

Libya's interim authorities have reopened the Mediterranean coastal highway linking the country's long-divided eastern and western cities, in the latest bid to reunite the land after years of civil war.

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Libya’s interim authorities have reopened the Mediterranean coastal highway linking the country’s long-divided eastern and western cities, in the latest bid to reunite the land after years of civil war.

It comes three days ahead of an international conference on Libya that will be hosted by Germany and the United Nations in Berlin.

Addressing a crowd that had gathered as bulldozers towed away rocks and sand blocking the road, Libyan Prime Minister Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah expressed delight at participating in the opening of this essential lifeline linking the east of our country to its west.

The coastal highway has been closed since April 2019 after east-based military commander Khalifa Hifter launched a military offensive to try to take the capital, Tripoli, from the U.N.- recognized government.

Its reopening was a long-held demand by the U.N. to enable the safe passage of civilians and goods.

The US embassy in Libya hailed the move, saying in a Tweet it was “paving the path for Libyans to have full control over their own affairs.”

Dbeibah was elected as interim prime minister, along with a four-member presidential council, by Libyan delegates at a U.N.-sponsored conference in February.

They are meant to shepherd the country to nationwide elections late this year.

The resumption of traffic on the route stretching along Libya’s Mediterranean coastline comes amid tensions between interim authorities and Hifter’s troops.

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