Libya's rogue general to run for President in 2018

Indo Asian News Service

Dubai, May 3 (IANS/AKI) Libya's powerful eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar will run for President in March 2018 under an accord he reached with Prime Minister Fayez al-Seraj in the UAE, it was reported on Wednesday.

The two rival leaders had agreed during a rare face-to-face meeting on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in March 2018 and to nominate Haftar as Libya's president, the Libyan Express newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was due to arrive in the UAE on Wednesday to cement the new agreement and give his support for a peaceful solution to Libya's conflict, according to the sources.

The accord includes uniting Libya's myriad of military factions under the command of the Presidential Council headed by Seraj, "fighting terrorism in all of its forms" across the country and reshuffling Seraj's UN-backed government, according to document cited by the Libya Observer.

"This agreement will come into effect as soon as its is signed by Seraj and Haftar."

A statement by the UAE Foreign Ministry on Wednesday - the first official word on Tuesday's talks - said Haftar and Seraj had achieved "a significant breakthrough".

"The UAE believes that any solution that brings stability to Libya should come from and be supported by the Libyans and should be purely based on Libyan-Libyan dialogue," the Foreign Ministry said.