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Haftar Meets Salame, Egypt Tries to Convince him to Provide Peaceful Solution

Haftar Meets Salame, Egypt Tries to Convince him to Provide Peaceful Solution

Monday, 4 December, 2017 - 10:45
UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame. AFP file photo

UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame continued his regional consultations as he discussed in Cairo Sunday the UN action plan on Libya and the elections he is planning to organize in 2018.

Salame met with Chairman of Egyptian Committee for Libyan Affairs Major General Mohammed al-Kishki, who, according to Salame, expressed his support to the envoy’s efforts, stressing that Egypt's endeavors to bring peace to Libya fall under the UN umbrella.

Meanwhile, an Egyptian official informed of the meetings held by Salame in Cairo, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We seek solution and hope for good results, but Egypt is not working alone as several other parties are involved in the process.”

Salame also met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. “During the meeting, Shoukry updated Salame on Egypt's most recent efforts at resolving the Libyan crisis,” official spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zeid said.

The spokesman said Shoukry assured the envoy again of Egypt's support for the political process under the auspices of the United Nations.

The two sides also agreed that all international and regional parties should make intensive efforts to contain the Libyan crisis and prevent it from spiraling out of control.

Abu Zeid added that the Minister expressed Egypt's deep concern over the growing terrorist threat, especially after the return of terrorists from Syria and Iraq and their attempts to flee to Libya, threatening the security and stability of the region as a whole.

In his series of meetings, Salame also met with head of Libyan National Army Marshal Khalifa Haftar in Cairo.

“Haftar’s presence in the Egyptian capital for a few days comes in the framework of efforts put by Egypt and other international parties to convince him not to interfere in the political process and to provide the opportunity for further negotiations aimed at finding a solution away from any military intervention,” Egyptian and Libyan official sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Haftar has threatened in more than one occasion to intervene militarily if the current negotiations did not lead to a solution before the expiration of the Skhirat agreement in December 17.

Unofficial reports said that Haftar has been meeting US officials during his stay in Cairo knowing that US Defense Secretary James Mattis held talks in Cairo on Saturday.

Salame has urged the conflict-torn country to seize an opportunity to forge its own path toward hoped-for elections in 2018 while “international interference” is declining.

Salame said he hoped the necessary conditions to hold a national vote would be in place “a few months from now” and urged Libyans “to seize the opportunity of attention being directed elsewhere” to work without foreign meddling.

“I feel that there is a lot of interference in the Libyan case ... with weapons, money, you name it,” he told a conference in Rome discussing challenges in the Mediterranean.

However, he said that the level of meddling has declined now and “support for various actors has decreased.”

“There is declining international interference, and Libyans must come together and build permanent institutions,” he stressed.

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