Sarraj to meet Haftar next week in Rome: Italian PM

Head of the Presidency Council Faiez Al-Sarraj is expected to meet Commander of Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar next week in Rome, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Monday.

During his interview with Italian state-owned television channel TG2, Conte said the meeting is a part of Italian efforts to reach a political solution to the Libyan crisis.

Meanwhile, StrategyPage, a U.S. website on the comprehensive summary of military news and affairs, reported on Friday that Sarraj has invited Haftar to visit the headquarters of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and discuss unification.

Many GNA backers and international partners are looking at Haftar and the LNA as the only force in Libya that has consistently worked for over five years to unify the country rather than plunder it, according to the report.

The report emphasized that the visit of Haftar to the capital Tripoli is dangerous because the city is controlled by numerous militias, some of them led are by Islamic radicals, who see the LNA as the end of their independence, but the majority of the capital’s residents would like to see the LNA commander come to discuss peace in the country.

The report pointed out that Haftar decided to postpone sending the national army to the capital of Tripoli until Sarraj and GNA be on his side. He also refused to participate in the main meeting of Palermo Conference because he did not want to negotiate with Islamic extremist groups that still control militias in Libya.

The U.N. and many European countries still back negotiating with the Islamic radicals, and Sarraj wishes to follow the path of Haftar, but unlike him, Sarraj does not have much military clout to deal with the Islamic militias in Tripoli and other cities in western Libya.


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