After rumors, doubt; Khalifa Haftar arrives in Benghazi



Fri, 27 Apr 2018 - 09:16 GMT


Fri, 27 Apr 2018 - 09:16 GMT

Commander of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar on Thursday April 26, after arriving in Benghazi - YouTube

Commander of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar on Thursday April 26, after arriving in Benghazi - YouTube

CAIRO – 27 April 2018: After a period full of rumors and conflicting news about the commander of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s health, he arrived in Benghazi on Thursday evening and received a very warm welcome from the army and tribal chiefs.

“I want to reassure you all that I’m in very good health. We all heard the rumors that have been spreading in the country and outside it during the past period; however I’m not responsible for responding to them all,” Haftar said during a short speech addressing the Libyan nation shortly after his arrival in Libya.

Commander of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar on Thursday April 26, after arriving in Benghazi - YouTube

“We have people who can reply to all these rumors, but at the same time I’m overwhelmed with the trust that you proved its strength between the Libyans and their army,” Haftar added, praising the strong bond and relations between the Libyans and the army, affirming that they (the army) will continue to do its job and duty regardless of the challenges they will face.

Haftar said that he and the army will continue to do everything the Libyans aspire to during the coming period. “During the coming days we will do everything we can to guarantee that everyone in Libya will live the life they have always dreamt of. I thank you for the warm welcome and for the trust,” Haftar said.

Commander of the Libyan National Army also assured that he will continue to pursue terrorists until they guarantee a better future for their country.

On April 25, Haftar, arrived in Cairo to hold meetings with a number of Egyptian officials, Tarek al-Jaroushi, a member of the national security and defense committee, told Egypt Today, affirming that Haftar is in good health.

Jaroushi stated that Hafar will meet with the Libyan Air Force chief of staff, Brigadier General Saqr al-Jaroushi, in Cairo and will return to Libya hours after the meeting.

Moreover, the media office of Libyan military spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari said that Haftar will return to Benghazi on Thursday and that he will deliver a speech amid an arrival celebration.

Officers and associates of the General Command, the dignitaries and officials of the Eastern Region of Libya, as well as civil society organizations, took part in the celebration.

Fadhel al-Deeb, political advisor of Haftar, revealed that the Libyan military leader was admitted to a hospital in Paris to conduct a medical checkup.

He said in an exclusive statement to Egypt Today that Haftar visited Cairo recently and then traveled to France to conduct medical examinations, denying media reports that Haftar experienced a stroke.

"We assure the Libyan and Arab people and ask them not to pay attention to such rumors on various media outlets," Deeb said.

He asserted that Haftar is in good health, and he will return to the Libyan territory within days, after being reassured by doctors on his health.

In the meantime, Mesmari also denied the death rumors in a statement on Facebook on Friday.

Since the ouster of long-time Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi more than six years ago, the war-torn country has drawn wide international and regional attention because of its threat to North African and European national security.

Libya, which is struggling to get through the critical political situation that it has been experiencing since 2011, is not only trying to unify its army, but is also longing to revive its political functions by conducting presidential and legislative elections by mid-2018.

Egypt has hosted several meetings to bring the conflicting factions to the negotiating table, alongside members of Tobruk’s House of Representatives, to resolve the Libyan crisis and amend the Skhirat Agreement, which aims at ending the Libyan civil war.

Haftar now controls the eastern side of Libya and is cooperating with the government of the House of Representatives, known as the Tobruk government. He has been backed by Egypt and the UAE in facing terrorist groups that have plagued the country following the ouster of Ghaddafi.



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