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Haftar met with US officials in ‘last chance’ for ceasefire

July 16, 2020 at 3:52 pm

Libya Chief of Staff, Marshall Khalifa Haftar (C) in Paris, France on 29 May 2018 [LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images]

The commander of the Libyan National Army, renegade Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has met with a high-level US military and political delegation, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat has reported.

Sources close to Haftar described this meeting as a “last chance” to agree a ceasefire. The delegation carried an American proposal to evacuate Libya’s vital oil crescent of all military forces.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, meanwhile, has warned Turkey and the Government of National Accord that any assault on the coastal city of Sirte is a “red line” for Egypt. Despite this, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that there are military preparations taking place in the city. Sirte is a strategic gateway for Libya’s main oil export terminals.

Cavusoglu noted that the withdrawal of forces loyal to Haftar from Sirte and Al-Jufra has been discussed with Russia, which is a condition for a ceasefire in Libya. Meanwhile, the UAE’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Anwar Gargash, has warned of possible war in Sırte.

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump discussed Libya in a telephone call. Erdogan said that they agreed on some issues relating to Libya and that the GNA would continue fighting to retake control of Sirte, as well as Al-Jufra Air Base further south.

READ: Guterres expresses ‘alarm’ at military build-up around Libya’s Sirte