Head of Libya’s unrecognized Libyan National Army (LNA) recently held a secret and lengthy meeting with a high-ranking Israeli intelligence officer, reports say citing a source close to the east-based warlord.
The establishment of an Israeli intelligence base in southern Libya has reportedly been discussed at the meeting.
Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s meeting with the Israeli officer was held in Jordan, according to an aid who spoke under condition of anonymity to al-Araby al-Jadeed, The New Arab’s sister media in Arabic.
During the meeting, Haftar who heads the army opposed to UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) told “Israeli security forces to intensify their presence in southern Libya to cut off French and Italian desire to control the region”, according to the aid.
Haftar also reportedly offered to provide safe centres for Israel especially in Sabha, in the middle of the Libyan desert.
The meeting with the Israeli intelligence officer is not the first contact between the Libyan rogue army commander and Israel, several media reports having mentioned cooperation between the two sides.
The Libyan army commander has established contacts with Israel through Israeli-Canadian security advisor, Ari Ben Manachi and the Likud party member, Oren Hazan of Libyan origins, the Qatari media said.
Egypt, Libya’s neighbor and a pillar of support to Haftar, reportedly approved the encounter but warned its protégé against talking directly to Israel.
Algeria, which has also been active in finding a solution to the Libyan crisis, had reportedly sent a letter to Haftar castigating the secret plan to support the construction of an Israeli intelligence base in southern Libya.