By Iyad en-Nablusi
ISTANBUL (AA) – Libyan House of Representatives Speaker Aguila Saleh met early Thursday with the militia commanders of renegade commander Khalifa Haftar.
Saleh met with Abd al-Razik al-Nazuri , Saqr al-Jarushi, Muhammed es-Senusi and Hayri at-Tamimi in southern Libya.
During the meeting, which Haftar did not attend, the commanders informed Saleh about military developments in the field.
The meeting took place at a time when relations between Saleh and Haftar are tense.
Following the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya’s government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led political deal.
Since April 2019, the government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces, based in eastern Libya, and more than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence.
With the continuous defeats of Haftar’s militias in the battlefield against Libyan government forces, Saleh announced in late April a proposal to reach a political solution to the crisis.
Immediately after the proposal, Haftar declared himself the sole ruler of Libya, dropping the UN-brokered Skhirat agreement signed in 2015 between Libyan warring sides. The move was condemned by international actors and regional allies.
Haftar, however, was unable to overthrow the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and its speaker Saleh — who was seen as a subordinate of Haftar — as he enjoys major tribal support in East Libya.
Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) launched a failed offensive to take Tripoli last April which caused bloodshed and suffering but stalled on the outskirts of the city.