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Haftar Makes Surprise Visit to Cairo, Salameh Meets with Saleh in Libya | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Libya Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. (Reuters)

Cairo – The Commander of the Libyan Army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, arrived in Cairo on Sunday on a surprise visit, while UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salameh met with Libyan Speaker Aqila Saleh on the second day of his visit to the country.

In a brief statement, Haftar’s office said the official arrived in Cairo on a working visit, during which he would discuss prospects of joint cooperation between Egypt and Libya. It added that he would meet Egyptian Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hijazi and army leaders.

Meanwhile, the UN envoy held talks with Saleh in the city of Al Qubah (eastern Libya), focusing on the Skhirat Agreement, which was concluded in Morocco nearly two years ago.

In a news conference, Salameh described his meeting with the Libyan speaker as “productive”, noting that discussions have touched on “the means to bolster Libya’s independence and promote its institutions”.

He added that Saleh had shown “a spirit of openness towards other parties.”

Libya’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Parliamentary Committee has anticipated the UN envoy’s visit by stressing its “full and unequivocal rejection” of an agreement forged between Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-backed government, and Italy on measures to control illegal immigration.

The committee said the agreement was unconstitutional and a violation of the country’s sovereignty, adding: “The implications of such measures are contrary to international conventions and treaties and override the legislative and legislative authorities in the country.”

It pointed out to “threats on national security when migration is exported to Libya, along with its economic, security and social burdens.”

The committee called on the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League to take the necessary measures in response to the “flagrant violation of international treaties and covenants relating to the sovereignty of states.”

Meanwhile, Libya’s coastguard intercepted 137 migrants including five women and three children on Sunday as they attempted to reach Europe, a migration official told AFP.

The migrants, from several African countries, were aboard an inflatable boat intercepted Sunday morning around 40km north of Sayyad, a seaside village west of Tripoli, navy spokesman General Ayoub Qassem said.

They were taken to a navy base in the capital where the Libyan authorities gave them food, water and medical treatment, an AFP photographer said.