Libyan PM al-Sarraj, Commander Haftar to meet Italian PM

A combo photo of al-Sarraj (L) and Haftar. (File photo: AFP)

The head of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj will meet Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday evening, according to an Italian government source, as efforts towards a ceasefire mount.

During the day, Conte met Khalifa Haftar, the eastern commander whose Libyan National Army (LNA) forces have been fighting troops of the GNA.

Russia and Turkey on Wednesday called on both Libyan sides to stop hostilities and declare a ceasefire at midnight on January 12 following talks between presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin in Istanbul.

Since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that killed longstanding dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has been plunged into chaos.

It is now divided between the GNA and rival authorities based in the country’s east.

Al-Sarraj is fighting a civil war against an alternative government based in the eastern city of Benghazi whose forces are led by General Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar launched an offensive to capture the Libyan capital of Tripoli in April vowing to end the rule of militias that include hardline groups linked to al-Qaeda and others. General Haftar has reportedly received support from international allies opposed to extremism and the Muslim Brotherhood.

(with Reuters)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:06 - GMT 11:06
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