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Egypt to restructure Libya's army under Haftar's command

Egyptian Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hijazi [U.S. Army Photography/Facebook]
Former Egyptian Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy [US Army Photography/Facebook]

Egypt yesterday announced the reorganisation of the Libyan National Army, which is affiliated to the Tobruk-based House of Representatives in the east of the country, under the command of Brigadier General Khalifa Haftar.

In a statement, Egyptian army spokesman, Tamer Al-Rifai, said Egyptian Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hijazi received a Libyan military delegation in Cairo.

Al-Rifai said: "The members of the Libyan military institution [who he did not name] chose Egypt to be the starting point for the reorganisation of the Libyan army, in the framework of Egyptian efforts to end the state of division and unify the Libyan army."

On more than one occasion, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced that his country supports the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar.

The Egyptian military statement said: "The Libyan military delegation discussed with the Egyptian committee all stages of the crisis faced by the military institution in Libya throughout the past seven years."

Read: Egypt, US military officials discuss developments in Libya

The Libyan delegation emphasised their "commitment to establish a modern, democratic and civil state based on the principles of peaceful transfer of power, consensus and acceptance of the other as well as the rejection of all forms of marginalisation and exclusion of any of the Libyan parties."

This is in addition to "working on the unity of the Libyan military institution and on the Libyan army's responsibility to maintain the security and sovereignty of the state, as well as to combat extremism, terrorism and reject foreign interference in Libyan affairs," according to the statement.

The participants agreed to "form joint technical committees to discuss the mechanisms of unifying the military institution in Libya and to study all the matters that could support this."

The statement pointed out that these committees will hold meetings in Cairo soon to discuss the technical details.

Since the overthrow of the longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's regime in a popular uprising in 2011, Libya has been involved in a power struggle which has led to security chaos. There are currently three governments in the country with Haftar heading one in Benghazi, the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli headed by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj, and the Tobruk-based government of Abdullah Al-Thini.

Read:Egypt army thwarts militant attempt to cross Libyan border

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