The head of Egyptian intelligence on Tuesday met Khalifa Haftar, who commands forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government during a surprise visit to the country, according to Cairo’s official MENA news agency.
Abbas Kamel “returned home after making a lightning visit” in which Haftar briefed him about the latest developments in Libya, MENA said. Details of the meeting were not disclosed.
Early last month, Haftar launched a wide-ranging campaign to capture Tripoli, where Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord is based.
After a month of sporadic fighting on the city’s outskirts, however, Haftar's forces have so far failed to achieve their primary objective.
Haftar also visited Egypt twice since the beginning of his campaign and is openly supported by Egyptian government for “fighting against terrorism.”.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.
Since then, the oil-rich country has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN recognition.
Reporting by Hussein Mahmoud Ragab Elkabany, Hamdi Yildiz in Cairo
Writing by Sena Guler