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Libya: Haftar, Sarraj to Meet in Paris Soon | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Khalifa Haftar (R), shakes hands with Fayez al-Sarraj in the eastern town of al-Marj on January 31, 2016 (AFP Photo)

Cairo – The French capital will host next week a meeting between Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army, and head of Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj, well-informed Libyan sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The meeting falls within French attempts to bring the two officials together for the purpose of ending the Libyan crisis under the auspices of President Emmanuel Macron.

While no official confirmation has been issued by Haftar or Sarraj, Libyan sources said France was waiting for the two sides to arrive in Paris to arrange the meeting.

A statement issued by the French Foreign Ministry, commenting on the diplomatic initiatives announced by Macron on Libya, noted that Paris believed a solution to the crisis in Libya should be based on a political settlement involving all the different Libyan factions.

The statement added that France would maintain its dialogue with the concerned Libyan parties and would “make sure that countries, which have influence in Libya, would join efforts to resolve the crisis as soon as possible.”

Sarraj has recently proposed a new roadmap for resolving the Libyan crisis, including holding presidential and parliamentary elections by March next year; however, the Libyan parliament, which supports Haftar, criticized the initiative and questioned in turn the legitimacy of Sarraj government.

“We have managed to sit down with a number of those who disagree with us or oppose our approach, and there are attempts to meet with others,” Sarraj said during a local meeting on Tuesday.

The two officials have met twice since Sarraj took office at the end of December 2015. One meeting was held at Haftar’s military headquarters in eastern Benghazi, while the other took place in Abu Dhabi under Emirati mediation.

On a separate note, in a new confirmation of Qatar’s involvement in supporting terrorist groups in Libya and interfering in the country’s internal affairs, Colonel Ahmed Al-Mesmari, a spokesman for the National Army, revealed that the army has footage of a Qatar Air Force aircraft shipping ammunition and weapons to the city of Misrata, west of the country.

“Qatar has turned Libya into a big crime scene,” he said, adding that the army had found long-range surveillance cameras in the possession of terrorists.

He also announced that the national army, led by Haftar, would provide evidence and documents to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which prove Qatar’s involvement in supporting terrorists, adding that Qatari flags were found in sites belonging to terrorist groups.