Haftar starts second Cairo visit since Tripoli offensive
Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday received Khalifa Haftar, who commands forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government, in Cairo, according to a statement issued by al-Sisi’s office.
THE SECOND VISIT
“Al-Sisi received Haftar in the presence of Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel,” the statement read. At their meeting, al-Sisi affirmed Egypt's “continued commitment to fighting terrorism with a view to ensuring security in Libya”, according to the statement.
Haftar, for his part, reportedly briefed al-Sisi on recent developments in Libya, where for the last five weeks Haftar’s forces have unsuccessfully tried to capture capital Tripoli, where Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord is based. In mid-April, al-Sisi held a similar meeting with Haftar in Cairo.
Early last month, Haftar launched a wide-ranging campaign to capture Tripoli. After a month of sporadic fighting on the city’s outskirts, however, Haftar's forces have so far failed to achieve their primary objective. They have, however, succeeded in capturing several strategic towns and cities in the vicinity of the capital.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.
Since then, the oil-rich country has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN recognition.