Libyan presidency council backs General Haftar

But LNA commander wary about unity government

12 January, 16:02

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO, JANUARY 12 - The Libyan presidency council under prime minister-designate Fayez Al-Serraj has issued a statement declaring full support to the Libyan National Army (LNA) under General Khalifa Haftar, reported local media.

    Haftar is, however, well known to have been against the new national unity government. Libya Herald noted that the statement was the strongest one of support yet and that it had been released on Monday to condemn recent heavy weaponry attacks in Benghazi against a major power station (the main source of electricity for the city and much of the wider area), a camp for displaced Tawerghans and a local factory. The statement said the attacks were ''failed attempts by the so-called Islamic State and "dark powers" '' and praised the sacrifices of LNA soldiers. It said that the army would be given the highest possible support once the UN Security Council revokes the arms embargo. Haftar, head of the armed forces of Tobruk, is at the very last wary of the agreement, as many observers have noted.

    Italian undersecretary Marco Minniti, in charge of state security, noted the same in December to the Parliamentary Committee for the Intelligence and Security Services and for State Secret Control (COPASIR). The Libyan Observer, close to the pro-Islamist positions dominant in Tripoli, quoted sources as saying that the statement was ''unilateral'' and had been written by pro-Haftar members of the council, including Serraj. The site said that a dispute had arisen last week between members of the council on Haftar's role in the future government created on the basis of the agreement reached in Morocco last month. ''Eastern'' (Tobruk) representatives reportedly threatened to suspend their participation if the general were not to remain in a commanding role, while ''western'' ones were said to have expressed concerns that the ''controversial'' general would make them lose support from Tripoli and Misrata. Advisors to the presidency council from Misrata, who are currently meeting in Tunis, told the Libya Herald that an agreement had been reached to shelve the issue of Haftar's role for the moment. (ANSAmed).

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