Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Haftar’s Visit to Palermo Vowing to Instill Political Stability in Libya

Libya's PM Sarraj meets eastern commander Haftar in Palermo Elections in Libya: spring potential timeline for elections - Italy's FM
Jeannette Daniel | 14 November, 2018, 22:52

Head of the Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar, who is now engaged in the second Libyan Civil War, reached the Italian city of Palermo to attend an worldwide conference.

Sources close to Haftar told Asharq Al-Awsat that the LNA chief was receptive of Italy's efforts to persuade him to attend the conference despite his objection to the invitation of President of the High Council of State Khalid al-Mishri, who is close to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Eventually, the West hopes Libyans will have a democratic election, but the conference isn't aiming to fix a date.

"Haftar already succeeding in making the Palermo Conference about the importance of his role in any potential agreement in Libya going forward and reinforcing his position as the key actor in the Libyan crisis", said Mohamed ElJarh, CEO of research and consulting firm Libya Outlook. Last week, the UN's Special Envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, confirmed that elections were likely to be postponed until spring 2019.

Prior to the Palermo meeting getting underway, the LNA submitted demands through a civil envoy to the gatherers.

In September, a United Nations panel found Belgium in breach of the asset freeze sanctions as interest payments on these funds might have been transferred to the accounts belonging to the Libyan Investment Authority.

More news: Mike Pence slams Myanmar's leader Suu Kyi Rohingya refugee violence

Meanwhile, LIA funds are still locked in four main bank accounts, managed by Euroclear, the bank belonging to the International Central Securities Depository (ICSD) in Brussels, one of the two international depositories of shares and bonds (the other one being Clearstream in Luxemburg).

Monday's proceedings in Palermo witnessed the meetings of various technical committees that discussed economic and financial reforms.

In an interview published Monday in Italian daily La Stampa, Conte portrayed the gathering as an opportunity to "sustain the creation and deployment of regular armed forces and security forces".

Tripoli. Italy hosts Libyan and global leaders on Tuesday to try to kick-start a long-stalled political process and trigger elections, with eastern Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar casting a shadow over the fresh bid to bring stability to the chaos-stricken nation, reported AFP.

"We want to ask at the national conference: what type of election do you want, parliamentary or presidential, and what kind of law", he said.

Others noted how the conference was being exploited by Italian officials, particularly Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, to direct criticism against France.

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