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Libya: New Italian Initiative Aims to Bring Together Sarraj, Haftar

Libya: New Italian Initiative Aims to Bring Together Sarraj, Haftar

Tuesday, 11 December, 2018 - 07:30
Head of the Libyan GNA Fayez al-Sarraj (L) and commander of the LNA Khalifa Haftar. (AFP)
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud
Italy revealed on Monday a new initiative aimed at holding a meeting between head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj and commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar.

Italy is seeking to bring them together in Rome later this week.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated that he was certain that he will meet both of the Libyan rivals, but he did not disclose further details, reported Italy’s AKI news agency.

Neither Sarraj nor Haftar’s offices commented on Conte’s remarks, but informed Libyan sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Rome was attempting to ease tensions ahead of the LNA commander’s possible declaration that the GNA’s constitutional term has ended.

Meanwhile, GNA spokesman Mohammed al-Sallak indirectly criticized Haftar by saying that the failure of some political powers to respect their pledges has thwarted the staging of the presidential and parliamentary elections.

The polls were supposed to be held in December, but political bickering and security unrest have obstructed them.

Commenting on reports that Sarraj had invited Haftar to visit Tripoli, Sallak said: “No invitations are sent to Libyans. Invitations are sent to foreign officials.”

“No matter how great the political differences between them, there is no need for Libyans to send invitations between each other. No Libyan territory is off limits to another party,” he added.

The doors are open for anyone to visit Tripoli, he continued, saying that the GNA was communicating with all parties and it has no reservations on this issue.

Meanwhile, sources close to Haftar said that he had not received any official invitation from Sarraj to visit the capital.

The LNA chief will not head to Tripoli as long as militias still control the city, he stated.

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