Siddiq Haftar, the eldest son of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army, confirmed that his visit to Sudan, where he met with the deputy head of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council and leader of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, was “not of a political nature.”
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Siddiq Haftar said he visited Sudan at the request of the Al-Merrikh Football Club, which appointed him as an honorary chairman.
He denied rumors that he had committed to providing financial support to the Sudanese club, and instead said he had promised to help the club find sponsors who could provide the needed support.
“Al-Merrikh is a prestigious club and I respect it, along with other Arab clubs,” said Haftar.
“However, I did not promise to provide any financial support because I do not have the funds and, more importantly, Libyan clubs are in greater need of support at this time,” he clarified.
He said that his short meeting with Dagalo during an iftar banquet was at the request of the Al-Merrikh Club presidency and “did not involve any discussion other than the club.”
“The visit was focused on the honorary presidency of the club, and I went there in response to a request from Al-Merrikh Club,” revealed Haftar.
“Through this visit, the club reciprocated the generous hospitality that Marshal Haftar had extended to the club during its stay in Benghazi (located in the east of Libya),” he explained.
Haftar expressed his “pain as an Arab citizen” about the situation in Sudan and added that he hopes for an end to the crisis in a way that serves the security and stability of the country and its people.
In other news, the Libyan embassy in Sudan announced that 83 Libyan nationals who were stranded in Khartoum were evacuated and transported to safer locations.
“The evacuation process was carried out after continuous efforts that culminated in the transfer of 83 members of the Libyan community, including embassy staff and their families, as well as some students and employees of African Airlines and Sahel and Sahara Bank, to safer places,” said Libyan ambassador to Khartoum Fawzi Abu Meriz.
Meriz added that “only a very few Libyans residing in scattered areas in the capital Khartoum remain, and the embassy is currently working on evacuating them as soon as a new ceasefire is declared.”