Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte held talks with Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar during a surprise visit to Rome on Thursday, calling for an end to his month-long assault on Tripoli.

"It was a fairly long meeting, a lengthy exchange of information," Conte told journalists. "I informed him of the government's position. We want a ceasefire and we feel that the political path is the only solution."

Italian media reported that Haftar would head to Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron after the previously unannounced visit to Rome.

Conte said last week that he wanted to meet Haftar after talks with the UN-backed premier Fayez al-Sarraj on May 7.

Haftar's bid to unseat Sarraj and take control of the Libyan capital has reached a military and political impasse after a month of fighting.

The European Union on Monday called for all sides in the conflict to put down their arms and commit to UN talks, saying the offensive was a threat to international peace.


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