Libya's Al-Sirraj hints at resolving dispute with Haftar over army command

Libya's Al-Sirraj hints at resolving dispute with Haftar over army command

November 17, 2018 - 19:07
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The Head of the Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sirraj, said last Thursday that his dispute with the commander of the self-styled army Khalifa Haftar is over the Libyan army command, hinting at a possible compromise about it.

Al-Sirraj told the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, that Haftar wants to command a unified Libyan army, but the Skhirat agreement of December 2015 says the Prime Minister based in Tripoli is the Supreme Commander of the army.

"But we can find a solution if we both talk about this issue." Al-Sirraj remarked.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Libyan self-styled army Ahmed Al-Mismari said Haftar is going to remain in his post as "General Commander of the Libyan army" till elections.

Al-Mismari indicated last Wednesday that the only recognizable Supreme Commander of the Libyan army is going to be the elected president.

Palermo Conference: Any Achievements?

The Palermo Conference in Italy went very well and even better than I had expected, Al-Sirraj told the newspaper, adding that it is now time Libyans came to terms and honored their commitments.

"Or else, all conferences such as Palermo's will be in vain." He explained.

Al-Sirraj said Libya also needs a constitution that includes the elections' legislations.

"The constitution draft has been read for quite some time and needs approval from the parliament as well as a referendum." He further explained.

France or Italy

Al-Sirraj also told Corriere della Sera that he doesn't see France and Italy as competing for Libya, rather he sees them both as an integral part of the political process as is the whole the international community.

"Paris paved the way for Palermo. Both are very vital." Al-Sirraj remarked.

Immigration is Everyone's Problem

Al-Sirraj told Corriere della Sera that there is hypocrisy in European requests of Libya regarding illegal immigration, citing their demand to keep 600.000 migrants inside Libya.

"EU is much richer that Libya and is constantly rejecting even one single immigrant to be resettled to its countries; it also always tries to send back those who make it via the sea." Al-Sirraj explained.

Al-Sirraj asked EU countries for more cooperation in the issue.

Next Step for Libya

Al-Sirraj also said that they will be preparing next for the Libyan National Conference as proposed by the Head of the UNSMIL Ghassan Salame, saying he hopes it will be held in January 2019, then Libyan can move forward to elections by June of the same year.