Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Haftar Visits UAE, Sarraj Announces End of Ras Jdir Crossing Operation

Haftar Visits UAE, Sarraj Announces End of Ras Jdir Crossing Operation

Tuesday, 9 January, 2018 - 12:00
Head of the UN-backed Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj. Reuters

Commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army started an unannounced visit to the United Arab Emirates on Monday, Asharq Al Awsat learned.

Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar is currently visiting the UAE, a senior Libyan official told the newspaper without giving further details.

The visit, which is the first of its kind this year, comes in the context of ongoing contacts between Libya’s National Army Command and the UAE.

Meanwhile, calm was restored to the Libyan capital Tripoli after it was announced Sunday that a locally mediated agreement was reached to end the clashes east of the city between armed militias loyal to the Government of National Accord, which is headed by Fayez al-Sarraj and supported by the United Nations.

Sarraj also announced the end of the military operation carried out by his government forces in Ras Jdir on the border with Tunisia.

Hours after the announcement of a ceasefire agreement in Tripoli, the UN mission announced that special representative to Libya Ghassan Salameh met Monday with Sarraj in Tripoli.

The two parties discussed the implementation of the UN action plan, the security and humanitarian situation, and the return of Tawergha refugees.

For his part, Sarraj said in a statement that his talks with the UN envoy tackled the developments of the political situation in Libya, the steps taken to complete the current transitional phase, the elections and the beginning of the stage to build a stable Libya.

The statement quoted Sarraj as saying that there is a mechanism to implement the reconciliation agreement between Misrata and Tawergha (east of Tripoli).

Sarraj announced that the return of Tawergha refugees will begin in February and expressed hope that this move will mark the beginning of a new stage of civil peace.

In this context, the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord announced the end of all military operations in and around Abu-Kammash area.

“Orders have been issued for the competent authorities to take over the crossing on Tunisian border," said the government in a statement.

"The government confirms that necessary security arrangements have been made to secure the entire area and to restore a normal life. The government also confirms that efforts are made, with all possible means, to pursue criminals and those who manipulate the livelihood of citizens," the statement added.

Head of the Libyan Higher Council of State Abdurrahman Swehli on Sunday called on fighting parties in western Libya to calm down and refrain from military actions in civilian area.

Swehli made his remarks during a meeting with mayors of western cities in Tripoli, where they discussed military developments in western Libya.

He called for calm and stressed rejection to intimidate civilians.

Swehli and the mayors agreed to hand over the Tunisian border crossing to the government's presidential guards service and the Ministry of Interior.

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