Haftar, Libyan PM to meet after Egyptian mediation: report
Libya’s Prime Minister Abdel Rahman Dbeibah and warlord Khalifa Haftar are due to meet in the eastern city of Benghazi following Egyptian mediation, sources from have exclusively told The New Arab's Arabic-language service.
The Egyptian sources said that General Haftar and Dbeibah had reached an agreement which will see Tripoli transfer 1 billion Libyan dinars (US$221.4 million) to Haftar's Rajima military base in eastern Libya, enabling the military strongman to pay outstanding debts to allied mercenaries and militias.
The government will make two further payments of 1 billion dinars in the near future, the sources said.
Until 2020, two rival administrations claimed authority over Libya – the internationally recognised Government of National Accord based in the capital Tripoli and an unrecognised government allied with Haftar based in the east of the country.
Under an October 2020 peace deal, Dbeibah took office as prime minister of a unified Libyan government last March. However, Haftar’s forces have so far refused to recognise his authority and previously prevented him from travelling to the east of the country.
In return for the transfer of funds, Haftar will allow Dbeibah's government - which is in power on an interim basis - to establish its authority over eastern Libya as national elections are prepared for December, the sources said.
The Libyan House of Representatives, which is close to Haftar, will also approve a national budget.
Egyptian efforts to mediate between Haftar and Dbeibah had previously run into difficulties. The Tunisian prime minister has balked at the size of the Haftar's debts that the warlord has demanded the new government pay off in return for approval of the national budget.
The two men were supposed to attend the opening ceremony of a new naval base in northwestern Egypt, according to the sources but this did not take place.
The sources said the meeting between Haftar and Dbeibah would be followed by a government ministerial meeting in Benghazi, which is under the control of the warlord's forces.