UN Libya chief meets with Haftar to discuss national sovereignty

UN Libya chief meets with Haftar to discuss national sovereignty
UN Libya chief Abdoulaye Bathily’s meeting with the rogue military general is part of a recent tour of major figures across the country's political divides.
2 min read
07 February, 2023
Khalifa Haftar still holds significant power in eastern Libya from his stronghold of Benghazi [Getty]

UN Libya chief Abdoulaye Bathily met with rogue military general Khalifa Haftar on Monday, as part of his latest round of meetings with the parties involved in Libya’s political impasse.

Haftar agreed that "it is critical to unify state institutions, including the military, and ensure national resources are managed transparently for the benefit of all people in Libya," according to Bathily.

Khalifa Haftar is the commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army, which has mounted several assaults on Tripoli and been accused of committing war crimes during the several years of conflict in the country.

Bathily also requested Haftar’s support for his recent campaign to expel foreign "fighters, forces and mercenaries" from within Libya.

Haftar was found to have coordinated with mercenaries from the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organisation accused of war crimes committed against Libyan civilians, during his 2019 assault on Tripoli.
Mercenaries have been a constant presence in Libya’s conflict since 2014, and it is not clear how Bathily or the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) plan to obtain commitments from all parties to eradicate foreign fighters.  

There was no mention of recent reports that Haftar may be transferring power to his son Saddam in the aftermath of the meeting. 

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The New Arab has contacted the UNSMIL office regarding the meeting and is awaiting comment. 

Bathily’s meeting with Haftar is part of a recent tour of major political figures across Libya drumming up support for future election processes

"Over the last two days, I spoke with High Council of State Pres. Khaled Mishri & House of Representatives Speaker Ageela Saleh to underscore, again, how critical it is for the two councils to constructively engage & finalize a constitutional framework to facilitate elections," Bathily tweeted.

The UNSMIL chief will report to the security council on 27 February on the results of his latest round of negotiations.