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Preparations Underway for Haftar, Sarraj Meeting as Clashes Erupt in Libya Capital

Preparations Underway for Haftar, Sarraj Meeting as Clashes Erupt in Libya Capital

Monday, 18 March, 2019 - 06:45
(From Left) LNA commander Khalifa Haftar, parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh and GNA chief Fayez Al-Sarraj in Paris, on May 29, 2018. (Getty Images)

Preparations are underway to hold a meeting between Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar and Government of National Accord (GNA) chief Fayez al-Sarraj.

Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the meeting is planned for next week and will follow up on the previous one between the two officials that was held in Abu Dhabi last month.

Haftar and Sarraj had agreed during those talks to hold presidential and parliamentary elections before the end of the year.

The sources revealed that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are keen on including parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh in the upcoming talks, which could be held in either Cairo or Abu Dhabi.

The meeting will focus on nominating a new candidate to head the GNA and determine its ties to the LNA. It will also cover security arrangements to hold the polls.

In Tripoli, meanwhile, the fragile UN-brokered truce reached between rival militias appeared on the brink of collapse as clashes erupted once against between various armed factions.

The sound of gunshots and explosions could be heard in the capital’s western al-Siyahiya and Janzour districts.

Janzour security directorate chief Kamal al-Fandy revealed that the clashes erupted after an armed group opened fire at a member of the Fursan Janzour Brigades, reported local media on Sunday.

No casualties have yet been reported. The UN mission and GNA have yet to comment on the unrest, which are the first of their kind this year.

The tensions have since died down.

Fierce clashes had raged in Tripoli in August 2018 between forces loyal to the GNA and members of the Seventh Brigade from the southern city of Tarhouna. The fighting left 78 people dead and 210 wounded, according to official figures.

The UN had intervened and brokered a fragile truce to end the unrest.

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