Tobruk-based Parliament Denies French Initiative to Resolve Libyan Crisis

Published May 21st, 2018 - 07:23 GMT
(AFP/File Photo)
(AFP/File Photo)

Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament denied on Sunday the existence of a new French initiative aimed at resolving the country’s crisis.

Official parliamentary spokesman Abdullah Balihak described as baseless reports that said that the parliament had received such an initiative.

He also refuted a statement that was released by parliament’s official website and attributed to him over such a proposal.

A Russian news agency had originally claimed that Balihak had informed it that efforts were underway to prepare for staging parliamentary and presidential elections in Libya before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, a Libyan official told Asharq Al-Awsat that Libyan National Army commander Field Marshal Khlifa Haftar had recently refused to yield to western pressure aimed at persuading him to stop his military operation in the city of Derna.

The recently launched operation is aimed at liberating the city on the eastern Libyan coast from terrorists.

Algeria is meanwhile set to host on Monday a meeting for the mechanism of tripartite Arab neighbors, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt, to discuss the situation in Libya.

These meetings are held regularly between the three neighbors to tackle the latest development in Libya, said Egypt Foreign Minister official spokesman Ahmed Abou Zeid.

He said that the meeting is being held at a significant time given the United Nations’ efforts to break the deadlock in Libya and attempt to stage elections before the end of the year. Egypt has also been exerting efforts to unify the Libyan army.

Algerian Foreign Minister Abdulqader al-Msahel is set to chair the meeting, which will be attended by his Egyptian and Tunisian counterparts, Sameh Shoukri and Khemaies Jhinaoui.

Also on Monday, U.N. special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salameh is scheduled to present to the Security Council a report on the latest developments in the North African country. His report will focus on the latest efforts that have been achieved in his work plan on Libya.

The situation in Derna will likely be Salameh’s main focus.

 

 

The U.N. mission in Libya said that elders from Tripoli had met at the U.N. headquarters in the capital to voice their solidarity with Derna and demand an end to the air strikes against it.

They handed U.N. officials a statement, which they hoped would be delivered to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Salameh, in which they underlined the need to protect civilians.

A senior Libyan military source revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that several western powers, including the United States, had sought to persuade Haftar to stop his Derna campaign.

It explained that Washington rejects the LNA’s unilateral approach in the offensive.

The source revealed, however, that the LNA is coordinating its actions with Egypt, while Russia has provided it with logistic and intelligence support.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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