Italian Foreign Minister Meets Haftar amidst Tripoli Cease Fire Tensions

Libya’s capital, Tripoli and the ceasefire agreement serving no purpose, brought forward Italy’s top diplomat to talk with General Khalifa Haftar, Leader of self-declared Libyan National Army (LNA) in a bid to strengthen ties, said the Italian foreign ministry.

Foreign Minister, Enzo Moavero Milanesi’s trip on Monday to the eastern city of Benghazi comes as Italy tries its best to reestablish the political stability back in to the country, besides taking a step ahead in the legislative process.

The two officials ‘had a long and cordial conversation in the city of Benghazi, and Italy primarily focused on maintaining close relationship with Libya in a climate of consolidated trust. Italy has been a continuous supporter of the UN-backed government of Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli, and thus wants to maintain an active dialogue with all well-intentioned actors in Libya, Milanesi said.

“The current political path must be completed, in particular through free and fair elections, held under adequate security conditions,” he added after France pushed for elections before the end of the year.

The ministry said Haftar “expressed his appreciation for Italy’s foreign policy, which Libya can’t do without.”

“Marshal Haftar added that he was ready to contribute to actively support security, stabilization and dialogue in the country, for the good of all Libyans,” the ministry said, without elaborating.

According to a statement released by LNA, the leaders discussed about the Upcoming Libyan elections in December, and the ways using, which they can guarantee transparency.

However, it is still unclear how Haftar’s stand on Italy completely changed, while saying those “implementing their (Italy’s) demand are a real problem, an indirect statement to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

The GNA’s biggest failure has been its inability to form a regular group of security forces, relying on autonomous militia to ensure security in the capital city of Libya. It was these Militias, which dethroned Muammar Gaddafi, the strongman of Libya, but the GNA has been unsuccessful in its attempt to keep a check on them.

Since then Libya has been under continuous threats, and the rival administrations, including one allied with Haftar and based in the remote east, the militias have tried conquering the authority for oil wealth in the North African Country.

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