The head of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohammed al-Menfi, spoke in Tunis on Sunday with the American ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, just days after the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar , presided over a large military parade in the city of Benghazi, in the east of the country.
In a tweet, the United States Embassy in Libya, which is based in Tunisia, said Norland had “had a good discussion on a full range of issues, including the unification of military, security and other institutions, reconciliation, withdrawal of foreign fighters and elections in December. “
“We also discussed improving security conditions in the south to better deal with issues such as human trafficking and the presence of mercenaries.”
Menfi, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces, had skipped the ANL parade, although he received an invitation as he was on his way to Tunisia. The head of the government of national unity (GNU) Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, who is also the defense minister, had also received an invitation, but was unable to attend because he was traveling to Algeria.
During the parade, Haftar said it was “time for reconciliation and forgiveness to build a new Libya, a Libya of good, peace and security”.
He called for the dismantling of armed groups in the capital, Tripoli, and for the elections to be held later this year without delay.
“We will not hesitate to engage again in battles to impose peace by force if the peaceful settlement is hampered,” he warned.
In what has been interpreted as his first justification for his failure to capture Tripoli in an LNA offensive launched in 2019, Haftar said his forces were on the verge of “liberating” the capital, but the world ” hastened to stop the advance ”.
All the international conferences, starting with the Berlin meeting, which aimed to achieve peace, were only the product of “our good decision to turn our forces towards Tripoli”, he added.
The ANL described the parade as the largest ever held in Libya since the uprising of 2011. It took place to mark the seventh anniversary of the launch of Operation Dignity which began in Benghazi in 2014 against terrorist and criminal groups. .