Arab League to meet on Libya's crisis: Egypt

Ahram Online , Thursday 22 May 2014

With Libya fast descending into chaos, Arab League representatives will meet Thursday to table suggestions to end the crisis

A view of the damage caused after explosions that took place at midnight, in the Salaheddin district of Tripoli May 21, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's representative to the Arab League, Ambassador Tarek Adel, said the organisation will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss ongoing political developments in Libya.

Representatives of the Arab League's member-states will send their suggestions to Arab foreign ministers after the meeting. According to Al-Ahram Arab news website, Libya's representative, Naser Al-Kodwa, will attend the meeting.

Adel added that Egypt's foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, had contacted the Arab League's secretary general, Nabil El-Arabi, "several times" throughout the last two days over the Libyan issue.

On Monday, Egypt's foreign ministry announced its rejection of foreign intervention in Libya, calling on domestic parties to "end the division and stop bloodshed."

Egypt suspended all travel to and from Libya Tuesday.

The statement came after the Libyan army decided to impose a no-fly zone last Saturday, a direct challenge to retired General Khalifa Haftar, who has been using airpower to press a campaign against Islamist militants.

On Friday, Haftar's paramilitary force, backed by warplanes and helicopters, pounded Islamist militiamen in Libya's second largest city and fought pitched battles with the ex-rebels.

Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani denounced Haftar's forces as "outlaws" and called on all parties to observe restraint.

But Haftar vowed to continue his war against Islamists, blamed for attacks that have killed dozens of members of the security forces, judges and foreigners since the end of the uprising against former leader Gaddafi in October 2011.

Haftar, who lived in exile in the United States before returning home to lead ground forces in the 2011 NATO-backed uprising in 2011, heads what he calls a "National Army."

Gunmen stormed parliament in southern Tripoli Sunday, hot on the heels of an anti-Islamist offensive launched by Haftar in the eastern city of Benghazi.

After the attack on parliament, a colonel claiming to speak on behalf of the National Army declared that the General National Congress (GNC) had been suspended.

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