“Sarraj and Haftar agreed LNA peaceful entry into Tripoli”: Al-Arab newspaper – Al Marsad

Libya, 14 April 2019 – The London-based newspaper Al-Arab claims in its Sunday edition that at their 27 February meeting in Abu Dhabi Presidency Council leader Faiez Sarraj and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar agreed not only to end the current transitional phase in Libya through general elections but also that the Libyan National Army would move peacefully into Tripoli to ensure that the elections could take place. However, it claims that after he returned to Tripoli Sarraj changed his mind and reneged on his promise. The newspaper says that this was as a result of pressure from Islamist extremists who are the real power brokers in the capital and who do not want elections.

This, the paper says, is why Haftar decided to move into Tripoli.

Giving possible credence to the report is the fact that over the past few months, the field marshal said on several occasions that the LNA would never fight its way into the capital, that it would go there peacefully. It may also explain why some Western parties have been relatively mild in condemning the LNA move, notably those who endorsed the Abu Dhabi meeting, seeing it as an extension of the Paris and Palermo conferences.

Haftar appeared to refer to it in a speech to the youth forum in Benghazi at the end of March when, according to LNA spokesman Brig. Ahmed Mismari, he linked the issue of a peaceful entry of the army into Tripoli to securing the elections.

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