Al Ahram - An Egyptian delegation met on Monday Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), in the Libyan city of Benghazi, to discuss regional and international developments, including the crisis in the oil-rich country. The delegation was led by Ayman Badie, the head of Egypt’s National Committee concerned with Libyan affairs and comprised a number of committee members, the Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.
The Egyptian delegation stressed the importance of resuming the political track and maintaining the ceasefire. Benghazi's meeting was preceded by talks with Libyan Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh in the Libyan city of Al-Qubah. The two sides touched upon the latest developments in the conflict-torn country and ways to end the crisis by speeding up a political solution with the participation of concerned parties, Abdallah Abaihig, the Libyan parliamentary spokesman said.
Libya has been split since 2014 between two rival administrations in the east and west with parallel institutions; the eastern government is represented by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives allied with the LNA and the west is represented by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). Turkey began earlier this year sending thousands of Syrian jihadists and mercenaries into Libya to back the GNA.
On 21 August, both Libyan rival parties declared a ceasefire and agreed to hold new elections. They had engaged in closed-door talks in the Moroccan city of Bouznika from 6 to 8 September, agreeing to pause the talks and resume discussions during the last week of September, according to AFP. Egypt announced an initiative, dubbed the Cairo Declaration, earlier this summer which mandates a Libyan-Libyan resolution as a basis for resolving the country’s conflict.
Egypt, France, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates back the LNA while the GNA is backed by Qatar, Turkish troops, and thousands of Syrian mercenaries.