Egypt president, Libya's army chief discuss situation in war-torn Libya

Sunday, 2019-04-14 21:36:15
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Members of Misurata forces prepare themselves to go to the front line in Tripoli, Libya, April 8. Militia forces, including Misurata’s, are aiding government troops against an insurgency that threaten to overthrow Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s UN-backed regime. (Photo: Reuters)
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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met on Sunday (April 14) with Libyan eastern-based army chief Khalifa Haftar in Cairo over the latest developments in war-torn Libya, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

"President Sisi stressed Egypt's support for the efforts of counterterrorism and fighting the extremist groups and militants to achieve security and stability in Libya," Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in the statement.

The meeting came as the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Haftar, has been carrying out a military campaign over the past 10 days to take over the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Sisi expressed Egypt's keenness on restoring security and stability in Libya and starting the country's reconstruction to realize the aspirations of the Libyan people.

Tripoli is home to internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, Haftar's rival.

On Saturday (April 13), the LNA announced the launch of eight airstrikes as part of its campaign to "liberate" Tripoli, noting that 28 LNA soldiers were killed in the raids, while the GNA, whose forces started a defensive operation against Haftar's troops, said 35 were killed in the battles.

The World Health Organization announced late Saturday evening that 121 have been killed and 561 others wounded since the confrontations near Tripoli started on April 4.

Since the ouster and killing of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libyan factions have been engaged in a civil war that escalated in 2014, resulting in splitting power between two rival governments in the northwestern city of Tripoli and the northeastern city of Tobruk respectively.