Libya’s powerful eastern military commander Khalifa has confirmed he will take part in an international conference on Libya being held in the Sicilian capital, Palermo on 12-13 November, Italian premier Giuseppe Conte’s office said on Monday in a statement.
Haftar pledged his attendance at the Palermo conference during a “long and detailed” meeting with Conte in Rome late on Sunday, the statement said.
During the talks, Hafar said he hoped the Palermo summit would be “constructive” and form the basis “for a genuine unification process that met the Libyan people’s ongoing expectations,” the statement added.
In an “exchange of views” with Haftar, Conte underlined his planned role of facilitator at the Palermo conference, to which Italy has invited all of Libya’s main power-brokers as well as key international players, said the statement. The meeting is “a conference for Libya not on Libya,” Conte underlined during the talks.
“The presence in Palermo of all the main Libyan factions is aimed at bolstering security and economic development, as well as strengthening the political and constitutional framework that forms the basis of an orderly political process based on the United Nations Action Plan,” it read.
The UN action plan is a roadmap unveiled by Libya envoy Ghassan Salame in September 2017 which envisages the drafting of a new electoral law and constitution – possibly to be approved by Libyans in a referendum – in an inclusive political process leading to free and fair elections, peace and reconciliation in the turmoil-wracked country.
Conte’s meeting with Haftar followed talks he held on Friday in Rome with Libya’s UN-backed prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj and with Salame, the statement noted.