By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 30 August 2017:
UN Special envoy Ghassan Salamé has had talks in Benghazi today on resolving the crisis in Libya with the head of Libya National Army, Khalifa Hafter. He arrived this morning at Benina airport and went straight to the Rajma barracks next to it which now serves as Hafter’s headquarters.
It is the second time the two have met, the first being when Hafter was in Paris last month to meet Presidency Council head Faeiz Serraj. It is also the second time that Salamé has been to Benghazi. However, his visit on 10 August was to meet students, academics and other professionals and hear their views about the crisis. Apart from a brief meeting with the acting mayor of the city, he did not speak to any political figures or anyone from the military on that ocsasion.
In today’s talks, Salamé told Hafter about all the various consultations he has recently on Libya and “discussed next steps” with him.
No details have been released so far, but the talks are believed to have concentrated on security and the fight against terrorism as well as possible elections and the general political vacuum, in particular what happens after 17 December when many Libyans, including those around Hafter, consider that the Libyan Political Agreement will be defunct, and with it the Presidency Council and the House of Representatives (HoR).
Earlier this month, in talks in Rome with Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano, Salamé made it clear that Hafter had to be included in any discussions on the future of Libya simply because of the power he holds but also because he was appointed by the HoR.
Salamé is still in process of consulting with Libya leaders and others before announcing any decisions about moves forward.