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Haftar Says Tripoli Operation Will Not Stop, Dismisses Sarraj Initiative

Haftar Says Tripoli Operation Will Not Stop, Dismisses Sarraj Initiative

Friday, 21 June, 2019 - 06:30
Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar. (Reuters)

Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar vowed on Thursday that the operation he launched to rid Tripoli of terrorist and criminal gangs will continue, rejecting an initative proposed by Government of National Accord (GNA) chief Fayez al-Sarraj to resolve the crisis.

"Our military operations will not stop" until Tripoli is taken, Haftar told

The LNA had kicked off the offensive on April 4.

The suitable political climate will be provided after the operation concludes, Haftar continued.

He said that the LNA morale was excellent, calling on the people to dismiss rumors that the forces were “retreating or even considering suspending the operation.”

“The army and its leaders realize very well that they are performing a major and historic national duty. Their orders are clear and they know that Libya is in danger and that there can be no backing down from the duty to save it,” Haftar stressed.

“The operation will not stop until we achieve all of its goals,” he declared.

After Tripoli’s liberation, “we will enter a clear and organized transition phase that will fulfill several main goals, including the disbanding and disarming of all militias. All agencies produced by the Skheirat agreement will also be dissolved,” seeing as it has failed to resolve the crisis, but has in fact created greater ones, he said.

Haftar also spoke of the formation of a national unity government, which will manage the transition period. Should it fail to take up operations in Tripoli for temporary logistic or security reasons, it can take up base in any other city.

Furthermore, he accused Sarraj of obstructing elections throughout 2018 by hindering the funding of the electoral commission.

Commenting on the international stance on the Tripoli offensive, he said: “The majority support the LNA, whether directly or indirectly.” He added that regional relations were also “excellent,” remarking that “we have made significant strides in relations with Algeria and Sudan.”

Addressing Sarraj’s initiative, Haftar said: "Initiatives have no meaning unless they are brave and carry clear clauses that address the causes of the crisis and its very roots.”

He described Sarraj as “confused”, saying that “he does not know what he wants and does not control his own fate.”

Hafter remarked, however, that he does not oppose political solutions, the democratic process or elections, but they would be difficult to achieve as long as terrorists, criminal gangs and the Muslim Brotherhood still hold sway.

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