The head of Libya’s U.N.-backed government says he is prepared to return to the peace process “as soon as possible” but that it would be different with the offensive on Tripoli by his rival, which he called an attempted coup.

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj made the remarks in an interview on Wednesday with France 24 after meeting on with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The offensive on Tripoli was launched by the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Hifter and based in the country’s east.

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, welcomes Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Sarraj met Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Tuesday in Rome. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena5
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, welcomes Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Sarraj met Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Tuesday in Rome. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena5

Macron’s office expressed France’s continued support for Sarraj’s government and made no reference to claims by Sarraj’s side that France is secretly backing Hifter’s offensive.

Sarraj said Paris must “take a clearer position.” He’s visiting European capitals to shore up European support for his embattled government.

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, meets Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, Pool)
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, meets Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, Pool)
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, welcomes Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Sarraj met Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Tuesday in Rome. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena5
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, welcomes Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Sarraj met Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Tuesday in Rome. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena5

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