Egypt’s Sisi meets Libyan commander Haftar in Cairo: presidency spokesman
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday met in Cairo with Khalifa Haftar, the commander of eastern-based Libyan forces, who is under international pressure to halt an advance on the capital Tripoli.
Egypt has close ties with Haftar, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) controls the east and swept through the mainly desert south earlier this year before moving to Tripoli ten days ago in a major escalation of conflict.
His move is the latest in a cycle of conflict and anarchy since the 2011 toppling of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Haftar has projected himself as the scourge of Islamist militants and of the militias that grew powerful after the uprising. His rivals say he has fueled conflict and risks returning Libya to authoritarian rule.
Egypt and the United Arab Emirates publicly support U.N.-led peace efforts in Libya, while being seen as Haftar’s closest regional allies. Sisi, a former army chief, has led a far-reaching crackdown on Islamists with Egypt and has blamed Libya-based militants for some cross-border attacks.