Head of Libya's Tobruk government on surprise Algeria visit as Tebboune promises mediator role

Head of Libya's Tobruk government on surprise Algeria visit as Tebboune promises mediator role
Algerian officials greeted Aguila Saleh at Algiers International Airport, though the reason for the visit remains unknown.
3 min read
14 June, 2020
Aguila Saleh visits Algeria [Getty]
Algerian President Abdelmajdid Tebboune met with the head of Libya’s Tobruk-parliament where the pair likely discussed the North African country’s intention to mediate a peace between rogue general Khalifa Haftar and the Government of National Accord (GNA).

Aguila Saleh arrived at the Algiers International Airport on Saturday, where he was greeted by Suleiman Shanin, the head of the National People’s Assembly, the first chamber of the Algerian parliament, and Foreign Affairs Minister Sabri Boukadoum, according to Algeria’s official TV channel.

It is not known how long Saleh intends to stay in the North African country, and the contents of the meeting have not yet been made public.

However, the presidential office confirmed the visit.

"President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is currently receiving the head of the Libyan House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, and his delegation", the office said.

The visit comes after the rogue general’s forces suffered several losses in key locations in Libya, including an ill-fated attempt to take Tripoli, which continues to be held by the GNA.

Tebboune recently announced his intention to host Libyan peace talks in an effort to end the conflict.

On Friday Tebboune told a local media outlet that “the solution in Libya will not be military,” adding that Algeria “stands at the same distance from all [Libyan] parties”.

Saleh last week met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the head of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar in Cairo.

Sisi later announced a new peace initiative to end the war, and it has been backed by the United States, the European Union, Russia and a number of Arab nations.

However, the initiative is not without its critics; Turkey, as well as Libya’s High Council of State in Tripoli rejected the proposal.

Days later armed forces loyal to Haftar launched an offensive against Tripoli near Misrata.

Following a series of military defeats in the western region of Libya, and the government retaking a number of locations including Al-Watiya airbase, Haftar called for a ceasefire.

The conflict in Libya is of interest to a number of foreign powers.

Russia's foreign and defence ministers will visit Turkey on Sunday, the foreign ministry announced, for talks on regional issues including Libya conflict.

The meeting, by Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu, was agreed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ministry said on Saturday.

A Turkish diplomatic source told AFP the situation in the north African country of Libya would figure high on the agenda of talks in Istanbul.

Turkish media reported that the Syria conflict would also be discussed.

The Russian foreign ministry confirmed the visit of Lavrov and Shoigu "to hold consultations on regional problems that are of mutual interest".

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