Libya strongman Haftar backs ceasefire: Sisi - GulfToday

Libya strongman Haftar backs ceasefire: Sisi


Libya strongman Khalifa Haftar (left) attends a meeting with Egypt President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in Cairo. File photo

Strongman Khalifa Haftar has backed a ceasefire in Libya starting on Monday, Egypt's president announced after talks in Cairo, following a series of military victories by the country's UN-recognised government.


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"This initiative calls for respecting all international efforts and initiatives by declaring a ceasefire from 0600 Monday June 8, 2020," President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told a news conference alongside Haftar.

Egypt’s president on Saturday announced an initiative to end the civil war in neighbouring Libya, a move accepted by the commander of the eastern Libyan forces that had suffered heavy defeats in recent weeks.

Strongman Khalifa Haftar attends a meeting. File photo

President Abdel-Fattah El Sissi declared the initiative at a ceremony in Cairo attended by military commander Khalifa Hifter and Aguila Saleh, speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.

El Sissi said the initiative, which included a cease-fire starting Monday, was meant to pave the way for elections in oil-rich Libya. He called for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters in Libya.

There was no immediate comment from the UN-supported government in the capital, Tripoli.

Hifter’s east-based Libyan Arab Armed Forces had launched an offensive last year to capture Tripoli. But he recently lost several strategic spots in western Libya after Turkey increased its support to an array of militias loosely allied with the Tripoli-based government.

Libya has been in turmoil since 2011 when a civil war toppled long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was later killed. The country has split between rival administrations in the east and the west, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.


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