Libyan Political Rivals Meet in Abu Dhabi

Libyan Political Rivals Meet in Abu DhabiLibyan Political Rivals Meet in Abu Dhabi

The head of Libya’s UN-backed, Tripoli-based government met on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, with the commander of forces loyal to Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament.

According to media outlets in both Libya and the UAE, Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar are expected to issue a joint statement after the meeting.

Informed sources told Anadolu Agency earlier that Sarraj had left Libya on Monday evening for an official visit to the UAE. They did not say how long Sarraj planned to stay in the UAE.

And on Monday, the official Facebook page of Haftar’s Tobruk-based forces published a statement that the commander had arrived in Abu Dhabi for an “official visit”. It, too, did not specify the expected duration of Haftar’s visit.

It did, however, point out that Haftar’s visit was his second to the UAE within a month following an earlier visit in April at the invitation of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

In a recent interview with Russian news agency Sputnik, Hamad al-Bindak, a member of Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament, said the Tuesday meeting between the two men “could yield the solutions needed to restore stability” in war-torn Libya.

Earlier attempts by both Arab and foreign mediators to bring the two men together had been unsuccessful. The most recent of these was two months ago, when Haftar rejected Egyptian attempts to bring him together with Sarraj while the two were in Cairo.

Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since early 2011, when leader Muammar Gadda was ousted and killed in a bloody uprising—backed by NATO airpower—after 42 years in power.

In the wake of the uprising, the country’s stark political divisions yielded two rival seats of government—one in Tobruk and the other in capital Tripoli—and a host of competing militia groups.

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