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Libyan strongman Haftar makes surprise visit to Italy

Libyan strongman Haftar makes surprise visit to Italy

Khalifa Haftar held surprise talks with Italian Prime Minister in Rome on Thursday, The Local Italy reported. The Libyan strongman shows his intention to find the political path, which could be the only solution.

Khalifa Haftar’s visit to Italy became a surprise but not to the political observers who remember that prime minister Giuseppe Conte was a vocal supporter of the ceasefire in Lybia. Italy’s good services would be the most logical contribution in the peace process, undoubtedly.

Italy’s PM said he urged Haftar halt his attack on the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, who also travelled to Rome and Paris for talks last week. According to Mr Conte, the metting was very fruitful, both sides have discussed many recent developments, which could have impact on Libya.

“I informed him of the government’s position. We want a ceasefire and we feel that the political path is the only solution,” Conte told journalists and added last week that he wanted to meet Haftar after his talks with PM Sarraj.

Khalifa Haftar’s office has shared strongman’s plans

The office of the Libyan military chief informed that Gen Haftar will pa a visit to France for talks with President Emmanuel Macron. Elysee Palace confirmed that infrormation on Friday.

“The goal will be to discuss the situation in Libya and the conditions for resuming a political dialogue… in conjunction with the UN and our partners,” French President’s office said.

While both France and Italy are seeking to find a solution to years of instability in the Middle East, PM Sarraj, who is seen as being close to Rome, has accused France of supporting “dictator” Haftar’s campaign against his internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

Paris has rejected the claims, saying it supports Sarraj but also considers Haftar a key player in rebuilding Libya after years of strife.