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Haftar and Sarraj to meet for talks in UAE

May 2, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Image of Fayez al-Sarraj, Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya on 6 February 2017 [Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency]

Libya’s military strongman, Khalifa Haftar, flew from Benghazi’s Benina Airport yesterday to Abu Dhabi for a rumoured meeting with Presidency Council head Fayez Al-Sarraj.

Image of Libyan military chief Khalifa Haftar [hallaboutafrica/Twitter]

Image of Libyan military chief Khalifa Haftar [hallaboutafrica/Twitter]

According to a statement released by the Libyan National Army General Command media office, the invitation extended to Haftar came from the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the UAE armed forces, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed.

Rumours over the past week have surfaced over the likelihood of a meeting between Haftar and UN-backed Al-Sarraj organised by the Emiratis.

Haftar is under pressure from the Emiratis as well as the Russians, Egyptians and the Americans to meet the PC head who will reportedly arrive in the UAE within the next couple of days.

Read: UAE praises Haftar’s fight against the ‘disease’ of terrorism

The last time the rival heads were due to meet things did not pan out so smoothly. In February, Haftar refused to meet Al-Sarraj in Cairo despite major efforts by the Egyptian government to broker the meeting for reconciliation.

Al-Sarraj later claimed that Haftar had buckled on meeting him on the grounds that the House of Representatives (HoR) President Ageela Saleh, who was also in the Egyptian capital at the time, should also have been part of the process but refused.

Hafter was in Abu Dhabi last month at the invitation of Sheikh Mohammed where he reportedly met with a senior US military official to discuss the situation in Libya.