Retired Libyan General, Khalifa Haftar, expressed his openness to dialogue and the political process for the first time since his forces launched a military operation to control the capital Tripoli six months ago.
Haftar in a statement, Thursday, before the UN meeting on Libya: "Dialogue and meetings must be carried out. The position of the political process must be acknowledged, and there must be a comprehensive national dialogue, preserving the national unity of the Libyan territory."
He stressed that "the democratic process the Libyan people are seeking will remain in conflict with the opposition of terrorist groups and armed criminal militias controlling the security and economic decision in Tripoli."
Referring to the possibility of holding elections to end the division and conflict in Libya, Haftar said: "holding the elections is impossible unless armed groups are eliminated and dismantled, and weapons are collected."
He also noted that "the success of any dialogue is made difficult in the presence of terrorism and outlaw groups."
"Dialogue guarantees the unity of the country and the unification of its institutions. We have previously said, and we continue to emphasise, that there is no room for dialogue as long as the terrorist groups and militias are controlling the reins and aspects of life in Tripoli."