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Sisi: Egypt will always support Haftar’s army forces

June 14, 2019 at 6:35 am

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi meets with Commander of the Libyan national army Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, in Cairo, Egypt, on 13 May 2017 [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]

Egypt will always support the Libyan troops loyal to the General Khalifa Haftar, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said yesterday.

“Egypt’s position on supporting the Libyan National Army in its campaign to eliminate terrorist groups across Libya will never change,” Sisi told reporters following his meeting with the Libyan parliament speaker Aqilah Saleh in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

Saleh is currently in Cairo on an indefinite-period visit to hold meetings with Egyptian officials.

Sisi noted that his country was supporting what he described as “the legitimacy of Libya represented in the country’s House of Representatives,” stressing that the Libyan people’s will “must be respected.”

Cairo recognises Haftar’s forces as Libya’s national military. In recent years, Sisi received Haftar many times.

Read: As Egypt starves, Sisi stirs horror in Libya and Sudan

On Wednesday, foreign ministers of Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia – during a meeting in Tunisia – that there was “no military solution to the Libyan crisis,” calling for “an immediate ceasefire.”

Haftar forces launched a military campaign in April to capture Tripoli from the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

After several weeks of fighting on Tripoli’s outskirts, however, Haftar’s campaign has thus far failed to achieve its primary objective. Nevertheless, Haftar’s forces remain deployed in several areas around the capital.

Libya had remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power. The oil-rich country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based GNA, which enjoys UN recognition.