Haftar Offers Support to Libya’s Peace Process

There are fresh hopes of peace in Libya after a UN-sponsored conference recently picked four leaders to guide the nation ahead of the December elections. (File/AFP)
There are fresh hopes of peace in Libya after a UN-sponsored conference recently picked four leaders to guide the nation ahead of the December elections. (File/AFP)
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Haftar Offers Support to Libya’s Peace Process

There are fresh hopes of peace in Libya after a UN-sponsored conference recently picked four leaders to guide the nation ahead of the December elections. (File/AFP)
There are fresh hopes of peace in Libya after a UN-sponsored conference recently picked four leaders to guide the nation ahead of the December elections. (File/AFP)

Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar has offered his backing for a peace process that seeks to end a decade of chaos, after meeting the head of a new transitional presidential council.

He met with Mohammed Younes Menfi, a former diplomat who also comes from eastern Libya, and who was selected last week in a UN-backed process to head the three-member presidency council.

Haftar offered “the support of the armed forces for the peace process, to defend democracy and the peaceful transfer of power,” a statement from his office read.

The meeting took place as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said Turkish troops stationed in Libya will remain there as long as a bilateral military agreement between Ankara and Tripoli is active.

Libya has in recent years been split between a Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, and an eastern-based administration, backed by Haftar.

Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey would discuss withdrawing its troops, who Ankara says are providing military training to GNA if other foreign powers are withdrawn first.

Menfi landed at Benina airport in the eastern Libyan port city Benghazi from Greece on Thursday and went straight to meet Haftar at his headquarters at Rajma, some 25 km outside town.

A new interim executive was chosen on Feb. 5 by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Switzerland, comprising 75 participants selected by the UN to represent a broad cross-section of society.

Haftar reiterated a recent pledge of support for the leaders of this new executive authority, who were chosen “so that they can reunite the institutions and lead the country to elections,” Thursday’s statement read.

Haftar’s spokesman Ahmad Al-Mesmari had on Saturday congratulated Menfi and Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who was selected as interim prime minister, alongside “the Libyan people,” on the outcome of the selection process.

The interim authority is mandated to lead Libya through to elections scheduled for December.



Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
TT

Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)

Hamas' armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said on Friday that two Israeli hostages held in Gaza were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah a few days ago.

The group, in a video posted on its Telegram channel, did not release the names of those said to have been killed or provide any evidence.

The Israeli government "does not want your hostages to return, except in coffins," the al-Qassam Brigades statement said.

Israel rescued four hostages held by Hamas in a hostage-freeing operation in central Gaza's al-Nuseirat on June 8. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said more than 250 Palestinians were killed in the raid.

The war in Gaza erupted when Hamas fighters stormed southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel has responded with a military assault on the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza health ministry. Israel says its campaign is intended to eliminate Hamas as a threat and free the remaining hostages.