A member of the Tobruk-based parliament, which is backed by the renegade General Khalifa Haftar, rejected allegations suggesting he would be attending a meeting with key Libyan figures in Cairo.
Fathi Bashagha, a member of the House of Representatives (HoR), in a Facebook post said, “although I have received the invitation to go to the (Cairo) meeting I confirm that I will not attend the meeting.”
The Cairo meeting, which is scheduled to take place on Monday, will likely have about 40 key Libyan figures in attendance along with Egyptian officials and will feature discussion about the situation in Libya.
Bashagha explained that the reason he will not attend the meeting is “ because nothing is clear about who is supervising the meeting and the agenda and the goals of the meeting are unknown.”
In an interview late last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi reiterated Egypt’s support of General Khalifa Haftar and his self-proclaimed “Libyan National Army” (LNA).
“It is our country’s priority to back up national armies, for example in Libya, to assert control over Libyan territories and deal with extremist elements,” said Sisi.
Haftar’s self declared national army is made up of brigades based in eastern Libya. There has also been speculation that Haftar has hired foreign mercenaries to be part of his armed forces.
Sisi has openly supported the LNA since Haftar first launched Operation Dignity in May 2014. Haftar’s forces claimed to be fighting a war against terrorism in eastern Libya, however, reports released by Human Rights Watch and other humanitarian organizations have found evidence that Haftar targeted anyone who opposed him, including civilians.
Haftar, who does not support the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), has reportedly attempted to prevent the eastern parliament from giving the unity government a vote of confidence.The support that Sisi has provided the LNA and Haftar has undermined the GNA’s authority in Libya.
Moreover, Haftar has previously reciprocated Sisi’s support by expressing his own support for the Egyptian army and President Sisi.