Norland: Field Marshal Haftar Can Contribute to the Unification of the Libyan Army – Al Marsad

US Ambassador and Envoy to Libya, Richard Norland, affirmed that he is confident that the Presidential and Parliamentary elections scheduled for 24 December will be held on time, and the Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar can contribute to the unification of the Libyan army.

(LIBYA, 6 August 2021) – Ambassador Richard Norland acknowledged in an interview with the Qatari Al-Jazeera channel, the difficulty of the situation between the Libyan parties, and stressed that Washington was making diplomatic efforts to reach solutions through negotiations that are currently taking place between political actors.

Norland said that negotiations were related to the nature of the scheduled elections, the powers of the elected officials, and the technical issues related to electoral entitlement.

He said the various political actors were working hard to achieve these electoral entitlements, and that they must take responsibility for their constituencies if they fail to reach an agreement. He said: ““In our conversations with Turkey and Russia, we believe that they are ready to discuss the departure of the Syrian fighters on each side. Getting the departure of Russian and Turkish forces themselves is going to be, I think a bigger challenge.”

Independent sources estimate that Turkey has brought in over 15,000 Syrian mercenary fighters to assist the Tripoli militias.

Norland said: “I believe that ultimately, they will recognize that it is in their interests to deescalate and to allow a sovereign Libyan government, once it’s been elected to select from a range of security cooperation partners to defend its national security in a way that promotes regional stability.”

Norland also stressed that Washington calls on all international actors in Libya to ensure the exit of all foreign fighters from the country despite the difficulty of the matter, and said the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, can contribute to the unification of the Libyan army in light of the continuing work of the 5+5 Joint Military Committee to expel foreign forces.

Norland added that the United States is engaged in realising the vision of the military commanders who have been able to open the vital Coastal Road through negotiations.