Thursday, March 30, 2023

Egyptian delegation visits Libyan capital for talks with GNA | Khalifa Haftar News

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The visit to meet with the UN-recognized government was the first by senior Egyptian officials to Tripoli since 2014.

Senior Egyptian security officials visited the Libyan capital Tripoli for the first time in years and held talks with officials from the internationally recognized national accord (GNA) government, the interior ministry said. Libyan.

Sunday’s visit was the first by senior Egyptian officials to Tripoli since 2014 when the country entered a civil war between the UN-brokered GNA in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east allied with renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar.

The government in Tripoli is supported by Turkey while Haftar and his so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) are supported by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Libya fell into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and Egypt is concerned about its neighbor’s instability and Turkey’s support for forces in Tripoli.

The Egyptian delegation was headed by Ayman Badea, deputy head of the general intelligence service.

The delegation met Fathi Bashagha, the interior minister in the Tripoli-based government, as well as Emad Trabelsi, intelligence chief in western Libya.

Bashagha and Trabelsi discussed “ways to support the ceasefire agreement and discuss the results of the 5 + 5 committee” with the Egyptian delegation, the Libyan interior ministry said in a statement.

He was referring to a truce concluded at the end of October between the warring Libyan factions and the so-called 5 + 5 meetings, involving five senior officers appointed by each party.

Bashagha said on Twitter that the meeting was “fruitful and constructive” and called relations with Cairo “very important”.

The visit to western Libya came just over a week after Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel met in Benghazi Haftar and Benghazi-based parliament speaker Aguila Saleh.

Bashagha is seeking to lead an interim government that would rule Libya until the elections scheduled for next December.

He visited Cairo in November, as part of the two countries’ efforts to “fight the threat of terrorism and organized crime,” his office said at the time.

“At the top of the agenda is the return to normal of the links between the two [Libyan] regions and also other issues related to consular affairs, ”said Mahmoud Abdelwahed of Al Jazeera in Tripoli.

“On the other hand, there is anger here with a lot of people in government and political parties, the troops on the ground are very angry. They were surprised by the visit and say they cannot expect any peace from Egypt since Cairo has supported all of Haftar’s military campaigns over the past six years.

The Egyptian delegation’s visit also came a day after Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, along with Army Chief of Staff Yasar Guler and other commanders, met with officials in Tripoli. .

Akar threatened to target Haftar’s forces if there were any attacks on Turkish forces in Libya.

He called Haftar and his supporters the “main problem” in Libya, an apparent reference to the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Akar’s comments appeared to be a response to Haftar, who said last week he would target Turkish troops in Libya if Ankara expands its presence in the country. He said Turkey could “leave peacefully or be driven out by force.”

Turkey’s parliament last week also extended a law allowing the deployment of troops to Libya for 18 months.


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