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US Military Delegation Visits Libyan Capital as Haftar to Attend Geneva Dialogue

US Military Delegation Visits Libyan Capital as Haftar to Attend Geneva Dialogue

Monday, 3 February, 2020 - 06:45
LNA commander Khalifa Haftar receives UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame in Rajma. (Twitter)
Cairo – Khaled Mahmoud

An American military delegation made a surprise visit to the Libyan capital Tripoli for talks with military officials in the Government of National Accord (GNA).


The Defense Department officials are set to later meet with GNA chief Fayez al-Sarraj, Libyan media reported.


When contacted by Asharq Al-Awsat, the Defense Department refused to comment on the report.


Meanwhile, Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar announced that the LNA will participate in the Joint Military Commission (5+5) talks, expected to start soon in Geneva.


The declaration was made after Haftar received in Rajma on Saturday United Nations envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame.


Talks addressed political and economic affairs, said the UN mission in Libya in a tweet.


The agreement to form the Joint Military Commission was reached during last month’s Berlin conference on Libya. The panel will include five officers from each of the LNA and GNA and work on consolidating the fragile ceasefire in Tripoli and western Libya.


The committee was expected to convene last week, but Haftar had at the time refused to confirm the LNA’s participation or name members to the panel.


On the ground, the LNA announced more losses among Turkey-recruited mercenaries that are aligned with the GNA against the military’s offensive on Tripoli.


The media center of the LNA’s operation command said the death toll had reached 71 and the injured between 45 and 55.


The injuries were incurred during the violation of the ceasefire and attacks launched by the mercenaries against the LNA, which was forced to retaliate.


Despite these developments, the ceasefire continued to hold.


An LNA military source told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Our forces are committed to the ceasefire, but the other side is not.”


The lull in fighting “does not mean that the LNA will not consolidate its positions”


“The military is ready to advance on central Tripoli if ordered to do so,” he stressed.


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