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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud

Haftar Says Libya Has ‘Last Chance’ to Resolve Crisis

Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar gives a speech during a rally marking the 71st anniversary of the country's independence from Italy in the eastern city of Benghazi on December 24, 2022. (AFP)

Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar announced on Saturday that the country has a “last chance” to resolve its protracted crisis. 

Delivering an address from Benghazi on the occasion of 71st Independence Day, he said the solution to the crisis lies in drawing up a roadmap that would ensure that presidential and parliamentary elections are held. 

Oil revenues must also be fairly distributed, he added. 

“The Libyans alone can resolve their problems and establish a unified Libyan state,” he went on to say. 

He described the unity of the country as a “red line that we won’t allow anyone to cross. Libya is still united and will not be broken up.” 

Haftar called on all parts of the country to hold intra-Libyan dialogue and to unite the people. 

Moreover, he stressed that he was among the first officials to call for fair and transparent elections, demanding that the United Nations mission in Libya assume its responsibility to resolve the crisis. 

“The people can no longer remain silent over the wrongs that they have had to put up with,” he added, accusing some political parties of obstructing the elections. 

Addressing the case of former Libyan intelligence agent Abu Agila Mohammad Masud Kheir al-Marimi, who was turned over to the US for his alleged role in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Haftar called for establishing the circumstances in which he was “kidnapped” from Libya. 

“We assure Abu Agila’s family that we will not abandon them,” he stated. 

Meanwhile, UN special envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, encouraged Libyan leaders “to agree on a solution based on a national compromise and avoid escalatory action that would threaten Libya’s already fragile stability and unity.” 

After a 2020 ceasefire, rival powers in eastern and western Libya agreed to hold elections on Dec. 24, 2021, and installed a new unity government that was meant to reunify divided national institutions. But the process fell apart. 

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