Italy pushes for including Haftar in “a untied Tripoli-based government”

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano

Italy voiced renewed on Tuesday its support for General Khalifa Haftar, a Libyan military man who controls the eastern part of Libya and enjoys close ties with Russia, urging the EU to accept that he should assume a role in Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, Politico reported.

“We have been the first ones to say that Haftar should have a role,” said Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, during a session of the defense-foreign affairs committee in the lower chamber of Italy’s parliament.

The Italian Ambassador to Libya, Giuseppe Perrone, visited the eastern region on Monday, met with the House of Representatives’ Speaker and officials in Tobruk.

Alfano indicated that Monday’s meetings of Perrone were “useful” in Tobruk, in eastern Libya.

Alfano’s statement underscored the increasing profile of Haftar, who doesn’t recognize the authority of the U.N.-backed Tripoli-based government led by Fayez Al-Serraj.

After visiting Moscow a couple of times and boarding the Russian aircraft carrier last month, when he and the Russians crafted a deal of armament, Haftar is now being championed by Moscow and Brussels (The EU) for at least some formal role that might unite the country.

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