Libya militia leader Haftar travels to Cairo to meet US ambassador

Libya militia leader Haftar travels to Cairo to meet US ambassador
2 min read
11 August, 2021
Rogue Libyan general Khalifa Haftar has travelled to Cairo to meet US Ambassador Richard Norland after giving a defiant speech announcing his refusal to recognise the authority of Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah.
Haftar has refused to recognize the Libyan government's authority over his forces [Getty]

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.

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.