22 May – 28 May: Haftar meets with Macron

May 28, 2019 | International actors

On 22 May, the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. Reports suggest Macron reiterated his call for an unconditional ceasefire, but Haftar said the conditions for halting hostilities “were not met” while acknowledging the need for a “political dialogue” to end the current crisis. Haftar further stated that he had no one to agree to a ceasefire with, even if he wanted to, because the Government of National Accord (GNA) is overrun by militias, who must be defeated before starting negotiating. In an interview published by Le Journal du Dimanche, Haftar said that in order to return to a political solution, “first we must finish with militias.” He also accused UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame of no longer being impartial.

On 23 May, the head of the GNA, Fayez al-Serraj, met with Algerian interim President, Abdelkader Bensalah, in Algiers. Serraj was accompanied by a delegation that included GNA Foreign Minister, Mohamed Siyala, and GNA Central Military Region commander, Major General Mohamed al-Haddad. They discussed the recent conflict developments in north-western Libya and Tripoli. Bensalah expressed his support for the GNA and opposition to the LNA assault on the capital. In response Serraj stated that the GNA would oppose the forces attacking the capital until they are defeated – without directly naming the LNA.

On 22 May, Serraj held a meeting with Tunisian President, Beji Caid Essebsi, to discuss the current crisis in Libya. Essebsi indicated that the current clashes were affecting Tunisia and that the political process needed to be resumed.