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Sarraj: ‘Negotiation time with Haftar is up’

Libyan President Fayez Al-Sarraj confirmed that he would not negotiate with Haftar anymore after the crimes he has committed

April 16, 2020 at 8:19 am

Libyan President Fayez Al-Sarraj confirmed that he would not negotiate with Haftar anymore after the crimes he has committed.

Libya Al Ahrar TV quoted Al-Sarraj in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, stating that he will not sit with Haftar after the violations he has committed against all Libyans, pointing out that all their previous attempts to resolve the crisis via political channels have been constantly aborted by the leader of the eastern-forces.

Al-Sarraj indicated that the Government of National Accord (GNA) and its forces had adhered to the humanitarian truce but kept its troops in a state of alertness, hoping that the coronavirus crisis will push Haftar to respect the truce.

He stated that Haftar has been pushed to the corner, which made him target Tripoli, residential areas, power stations, civil institutions, and even Al-Khadra Hospital in the centre of the capital with unprecedented bombings.

Al-Sarraj confirmed that since April 2019, after the first attack was contained: “We managed to reorganise our forces and carried out a counter-attack and recovered sites like Gharyan, Haftar’s main stronghold at the time; and today we are recuperating other cities such as Sabratha and Surman. We have become stronger and we are taking the right steps towards a well-defined goal.”

General Khalifa Haftar taking over Libya - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

General Khalifa Haftar taking over Libya – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

He asserted that the GNA forces had faced the attack alone without any external support for seven months, then the Libyan government signed the security agreement with Turkey on 27 November, while the attack was launched on 4 April.

Al-Sarraj continued: “We have sent letters to many countries seeking to activate security cooperation. The Turkish authorities responded positively to our request and signed with us a military-security memorandum of understanding. We have been receiving experts, consultants, and support for our security and defence program.”

The head of the Presidential Council confirmed that the Libyan government had signed a military cooperation agreement with Turkey publicly, and that: “We do not have contracts with mercenaries. On the other hand, we have taken prisoners and we have evidence of the participation of foreign mercenaries in attacks carried out by Haftar’s militias.”

Al-Sarraj stated that Russian authorities revealed that Russian mercenaries operating in Libya do neither represent Russian interests nor receive funds from Russia.

He added that there are Syrians who come from Syria on board flights from Damascus to Benghazi, organised by Cham Wings Airlines, which is listed on the US Treasury blacklist.

READ: Libya’s Syria connection is being reactivated