Libya: New Presidency Council head visits Benghazi
Eastern Benghazi city is under control of warlord Khalifa Haftar
Newly elected head of the Libyan Presidency Council Mohammad Menfi on Thursday visited Benghazi, a city under the control of warlord Khalifa Haftar, a diplomatic source said.
Menfi arrived in the city on his way back from Greece, the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
"In the name of God, we begin the journey of work for the sake of the nation, its unity, and its territorial integrity and the reunification of our people throughout Libya. We are today guests of our city, Benghazi," Menfi said in an earlier statement on Thursday.
"Our goal is the unity of the country, true reconciliation and cooperation with everyone to alleviate the suffering of the citizens [...] We call on everyone to assume their responsibilities and rise to the level of challenges," he went on to say.
Later, Menfi held a meeting with Haftar, according to a written statement by Haftar's press office.
During the meeting, Haftar expressed support for the new Presidency Council and the National Unity Government, which create an environment of political dialogue for the unification of political institutions in the country and for the elections.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Libya’s High Council of State Khalid al-Mishri rejected and condemned Menfi's visit to “war criminal” Haftar.
“This visit sends a negative message that has nothing to do with ensuring the harmony and unity of Libyans after all the destruction and tragedies caused by Haftar,” al-Mishri said on social media.
Last Friday, Libya’s rival political groups agreed to form an interim unity government to lead the country to elections this December.
Mohammad Younes Menfi was elected head of the Presidency Council, with Al-Koni and Al-Lafi as the members, while Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh was chosen as the prime minister.
Menfi's visit to Benghazi is the first after his election as the head of the Presidency Council.
*Writing by Zehra Nur DuzAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.