Former leader of the Libyan ground forces and current renegade General Khalifa Haftar said that he had never met Egyptian coup leader Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi, but he is to follow in his footsteps, Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported on Friday.
"I have never met Marshal Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi," said Haftar, "but our feelings meet on a single goal – the war on terrorism and to maintain our Arabic identity. Therefore, all past estrangement in Egyptian-Libyan relations must meltdown."
He continued: "Al-Sisi is a reputable person. I like his respect of the great former Egyptian leaders such as Gamal Abdul-Nasser."
Such remarks are considered a first for Haftar in wake of the Egyptian elections, in which initial results have showed that Al-Sisi achieved an easy victory against his sole competitor Hamdeen Sabahi.
Al-Masry Al-Youm said it received Haftar's remarks several hours before the military operation launched on Wednesday against the 17 February Brigades, who are affiliated with the Libyan parliament in Benghazi and Derna.
Haftar expected that Al-Sisi's victory would lead to "common cooperation to face foreign interference in Libya, which has become an open space for everyone." He said that Libya's natural resources make it everyone's aspiration. "We need Egypt to help us to face these aspirations," he said.
Meanwhile, Haftar's spokesman Colonel Mohamed Al-Hijazi expressed his happiness about Al-Sisi's expected victory in the presidential elections.
Speaking to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, Al-Hijazi said: "Haftar is going to follow in the footsteps of Marshal Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi if the Libyan people call for him to run for presidency. Al-Sisi succeeded in a difficult mission – regaining Egypt from the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood."
Haftar has recently delivered several remarks, which have been widely applauded by Egyptian media, especially the remarks which criticise the Muslim Brotherhood.
Haftar said: "My goal is to clean Libya of the Muslim Brotherhood… I will hand over Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have fled to Libya." He also said that he has been preparing for his coup plan, "Dignity Operation," for more than two years.