Libya National Army’s Haftar To Attend Berlin’s International Conference on Libya
Jan. 16, 2020 (EIRNS)—Three days before the Jan. 19 international conference on Libya in Berlin, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will fly to Benghazi, to meet with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, with the idea to convince him to sign the ceasefire agreement worked out Jan. 13 in Moscow, before or during conference. “Our message is clear: This war cannot be won by any party with military means,” Maas said before his departure. “It may be hoped that the conflicting parties would take this opportunity to put the future of Libya back into Libyan hands.... A window is opening now to liberate this conflict from foreign influences.”
Following Maas’s visit to Benghazi today, Haftar has said he will respect the ceasefire and attend the Berlin conference on Jan. 19, even if he has not signed the Moscow ceasefire agreement. Yesterday, in Cairo, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who backs Haftar. After their meeting, Conte said that Italy is ready to send peacekeeping troops if the Berlin conference succeeds in creating the “preconditions.”
The High Committee of the African Union for Libya, chaired by Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso, will also meet on Jan. 25 in Brazzaville. Republic of Congo is among the nations invited to attend the Berlin conference for that reason; other nations invited are United States, Russia, China, France, U.K., Italy, Germany, Turkey, U.A.E., Egypt, and Algeria, as well as the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, and Arab League.
However, muddying the effort to get foreign forces out of Libya, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared that Ankara “is sending” troops to Tripoli to back the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. According to Britain’s Guardian, Turkey has assembled 2,000 militia, some of which have already been sent to Libya, from the rebel “Syrian National Army” and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist swamp. “All the Syrians are already fighting in Tripoli. They were seen and spoken to on the Salahuddin front [a district in Tripoli], a few kilometers from the center,” a Western source who is on the Libyan frontline told the Italian daily Il Giornale today.