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Libya’s Hurghada Talks: Haftar Could Remain LNA Leader

Libya’s Hurghada Talks: Haftar Could Remain LNA Leader

Wednesday, 30 September, 2020 - 07:00
Leader of Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar. Reuters file photo

Libyan military officials met in Egypt’s Hurghada resort on Monday for a new round of talks, which discussed keeping Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, as leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), if a comprehensive settlement was reached and a unified military council was established, according to informed Libyan sources.

However, security tension kept on growing in Libya as forces of the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, accused the LNA of fortifying the Jufra airbase in over 31 locations.

LNA officials said the Hurghada talks brought together LNA and GNA military officials, and concluded with a list of recommendations submitted to the United Nations mission in preparation for the resumption of the Joint Military Committee talks.

The attendees agreed that Haftar would remain the commander-in-chief of the LNA, saying all its military units would be kept under his control.

They also decided to establish a military supreme council, as well as a rapid intervention force of the army and police to protect the headquarters of the new authority in Sirte and the oil facilities in the Oil crescent region, currently under the control of the National Army.

LNA’s Director of Moral Guidance, Major General Khaled al-Mahjoub, praised the Hurghada talks, saying they were based on the Cairo Declaration.

Mahjoub indicated that the officials discussed dissolving militias and finding "real solutions" for the LNA weapons, adding that Turkish mercenaries are already leaving Libyan territories.

The chair of Libya's High Council of State, Khalid al-Mishri, is expected to participate in the Morocco talks with the House of Representatives, which were postponed for logistical reasons, according to a spokesman for the State Council.

However, Mishri revealed a new agreement to choose the governor of the Central Bank of Libya, rather than being nominated by the parliament.

In addition, the High Council will have the right to name five of the bank’s board of directors, as well as the deputy governor, while parliament chooses three members.

Speaking to Libya's February Channel, Mishri clarified that the agreement also stipulates that the names are presented to the High Council for approval, which guarantees that the governor will not be the sole decision-maker.

Earlier, local media affiliated with the GNA reported that Mishri and Speaker Aguila Saleh will participate in the upcoming Morocco talks.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) spokesman confirmed that the UN and Germany are preparing for a Berlin II Conference on October 5.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Gununu, the GNA forces spokesman, announced that Wagner Group mercenaries are working on fortifying Jufra airbase in over 31 locations.

Gununu said some of the locations have a 25-km diameter, in addition to locations inside the airbase.

This movement comes after “dubious” military reinforcements by Haftar's forces backed by Russian Wagner mercenaries toward Sirte and Brak Shaati airbase, said the spokesman, adding that the forces are always on alert and awaiting instructions of the Commander-in-Chief to respond to any attacks.

The LNA did not comment on the accusations.

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