Libyan Quartet meet with strongman Haftar seen as most likely future leader

Libyan Quartet meet with strongman Haftar seen as most likely future leader

Representatives from the EU, Arab League, African Union and UN will meet in Cairo today to discuss political unity in

khalifa hafta libya

Photo: Esam Omran Al Fetori/Reuters

Representatives from the EU, Arab League, African Union and UN will meet in Cairo today to discuss political unity in Libya.

While Libya has dropped out of headlines in recent months, low-intensity violence and political divisions continue to undermine progress. Today, eastern Libya is ruled by a parliament in Tobruk backed by strongman Khalifa Haftar and his self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, while a UN-backed government in Tripoli headed by PM Fayez Sarraj governs the country’s west.

As the commander of Libya’s single largest force, Khalifa Haftar is viewed by many as the most likely person to unify the country, although rumours of poor health has cast doubt over this.

With presidential and legislative elections touted for the end of the year, the Tripoli- and Tobruk-based government are under pressure to resolve their difference.

Both factions are currently discussing unifying the command of Libya’s military. Agreement on this issue would represent a crucial first step to holding elections but is only likely with Mr Haftar’s blessing, giving him sway over the outcome and possibly control of the national military. Such an outcome would put the strongman in an authoritative position to rule the country.

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