Libya militia leader Haftar travels to Cairo to meet US ambassador
Libyan militia leader Khalifa Haftar began a visit to Egypt on Tuesday where he will meet the US ambassador to Libya.
Sources in Egypt also told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that Haftar - who commands the self-styled "Libyan National Army" (LNA) militia force - may also meet with Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah.
The Facebook page of the US Embassy in Libya announced that US Ambassador to Tripoli Richard Norland will visit Cairo on 10 and 11 August and meet with "Egyptian officials and the commander of the LNA, Khalifa Haftar".
It said that this was part of "US efforts to support Libyan parliamentary and presidential elections in December".
"Ambassador Norland continues to focus on the urgency of supporting the difficult compromises necessary to establish the constitutional basis and legal framework needed now in order for the elections to take place on December 24," the Facebook post added.
1/3 U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to #Libya Richard Norland is in Cairo August 10 and 11 to meet with Egyptian officials and LNA leader General Khalifa Haftar as part of U.S. efforts to support Libyan parliamentary and presidential elections in December. pic.twitter.com/XELZA1ubhu— U.S. Embassy - Libya (@USAEmbassyLibya) August 10, 2021
Egypt is attempting to mediate an agreement that would see Dbeibah's government assume responsibility for most of Haftar's debts and pay salaries to his fighters and mercenaries, according to Egyptian government sources who spoke to The New Arab's Arabic-language service.
Haftar, who controls most of eastern Libya, has so far resisted efforts to place his forces under the authority of Dbeibah's Government of National Unity, as stipulated in the October 2020 peace agreement signed by rival Libyan factions.
In a speech on Monday, Haftar said that his self-styled LNA would not "take orders from any government not elected by the Libyan people" and announced new political and military appointments in defiance of the Libyan government's authority.
The speech was greeted with outrage by many Libyan politicians.
Haftar’s forces have also prevented Dbeibah from visiting eastern Libya several times.