US envoy to Libya Richard Norland will meet this Wednesday in Cairo with rebel and retired field marshal Khalifa Haftar and Egyptian officials in an effort to push for December parliamentary and presidential elections.
The US embassy in Libya said on Twitter that the visit comes “as part of US efforts to support Libyan parliamentary and presidential elections in December.”
“US Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland is in Cairo August 10 and 11 to meet with Egyptian officials and LNA leader General Khalifa Haftar,” the embassy said in a tweet, adding that “the United States supports the right of the Libyan people to select their leaders through an open democratic process and calls on key figures to use their influence at this critical stage to do what is best for all Libyans.”
The oil-rich African country is gearing up for agreed December general elections to endow the crisis-hit country with a new central administration since the fall and assassination of former strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 in a NATO-backed revolution.
The process is hitting roadblocks as interim government and Presidential Council decry Haftar’s refusal to submit to Tripoli-based authorities.
Monday, the man who leads the self-imposed Libyan National Army, indicated he will not answer to authorities. He said that the “Libyan Army” is under no authority and that he won’t succumb to “trickery” in the name of “civilian life”.
Haftar made the remarks after he was lambasted following the new military appointments that he carried out within his ranks, in utter violation of the roadmap of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum that says the Presidential Council, as the Chief Commander of the Libyan Army, is the only entity entitled to military appointments and commands.