Wednesday, July 28, 2021

U.S. official reveals Washington's position on Marshal Khalifa Haftar's role in Libya's future


July 28, 2021. Greece.


The role of Marshal Khalifa Haftar and all other political and military actors in the Libyan scene is "a decision for the Libyan people and Libyans only," said the Acting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for the Near East, Joey Hood.

"If he decides to play a constructive and practical role, it is up to the Libyan people to decide exactly what role he should play," Hood said Tuesday at the end of a two-day working visit to Algeria, in response to a question about the expected role that Khalifa Haftar will play in the Libyan political scene.

Regarding U.S. moves to withdraw foreign troops and mercenaries from Libya, the diplomat confirmed in an interview with the official Algerian Press Service that contacts have been made with Turkey, in addition to talks with Russia, Europeans and all other parties, especially Libyans.

Hood believes that the top priority is to remove all foreign forces, put an end to all foreign military interventions, as well as agents inside Libya so that the Libyan people can regain full sovereignty.

He added: "The government elected in December, can decide what relations it wants to establish with other countries on its own without the pressure represented by military forces in its territory."

With regard to U.S.-Algerian cooperation to resolve the Libyan crisis, he stressed the seriousness of President Joe Biden in cooperating with Algeria on Libya and many other common issues.

He explained that Algeria has the same view on this situation as the U.S. government, "so the two countries are determined to work together on these common goals, which is to talk with our allies and partners about how to strengthen the conditions exactly see the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Libya as soon as possible, and progress towards the elections on December 24.

The U.S. diplomat concluded that Algeria, through its foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra, has a very important voice in the Libyan issue, and will be heard in the region and beyond, stressing their aspiration to work with the Algerian government on this issue.