The US ambassador and special envoy to Libya began a two-day visit to Egypt’s capital of Cairo on Tuesday to meet with renegade Libyan General Khalifa Haftar and Egyptian officials, according to an official announcement.
Richard Norland’s visit comes as part of Washington’s efforts to “support Libyan parliamentary and presidential elections in December,” the US Embassy to Libya said on Twitter.
“Amb. Norland continues to focus on the urgency of supporting the difficult compromises necessary to establish the constitutional basis and legal framework needed now in order for the elections to take place on Dec. 24,” the embassy tweeted.
Haftar on Monday said his militia force would not be subordinate to the current authority in Libya, and would only deal with “an authority directly elected by the people.”
It also affirmed the US’ support for Libyans to choose their leaders within the democratic framework and urged “key figures” to play an effective role to this end.
Haftar is still flouting the government and leads an armed militia that controls large swathes in the North African country, calling himself the “commander-in-chief of the Libyan Armed Forces,” and challenging the Presidential Council’s authority.
This year, Libya has witnessed a political breakthrough under UN auspices. On March 16, an elected transitional authority made up of a unity government and a presidential council, assumed their duties to lead the country through a transitional phase to parliamentary and presidential elections slated for Dec. 24.