General Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan army. The Libyan army has made significant advances in the last three weeks against militias of Libya Dawn which in alliance with terrorist organizations such as IS and Ansar Al-Sharia.
Al-Baida— Libya’s legitimate and internationally recognized government has made it clear that it is always willing to cooperate with the European Union on combating illegal immigration provided that the EU consulted with it on various issues.
In an interview with CNN recently, General Khalifa Haftar, the head of the Libyan army, said Libya would be open for cooperation with the EU but military action against Libyan territory would be unwise.
Gen. Hafter voiced concern regarding EU countries’ ignorance of the legitimate government as they extensively debated developments in Libya and what action to be taken toward them.
“We will certainly not cooperate, because we were not involved in resolving this issue,” Haftar said during the interview, stressing that the EU has taken decisions without consulting with the legitimate Libyan government.
“Military action against Libyan territory is an unwise decision,” he said. “You need to deal with the Libyan crisis as a whole. We are a sovereign country that needs to be respected despite what we are going through right now.”
Some European countries have unjustifiably taken a somewhat unfriendly position vis-à-vis the democratically elected government of Libya and hence cut any meaningful communications, even when the rest of the world including the United States preserved diplomatic norms and close contacts with such government.
Some European countries have even turned down appointments of ambassadors by the same legitimate government which can be considered a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, in what has been viewed by Libyan officials as an uncalled-for intervention in internal affairs.
As a result, some of the Libyan embassies have become advanced posts and operation grounds for the pro-Islamic State militias in Tripoli rendering these embassies diplomatically ineffective which further damaged bilateral and multilateral relations between the legitimate Libyan government and the EU countries.
Gen. Hafter said, “the European Union needs to stand with the Libyan people to solve the crisis instead of taking such decisions”. “The migrant crisis affects them. But why don’t they see that our problems are also very important? It’s important for them [EU countries] to support us either on the humanitarian front or on the security front,” he stressed.
“If they take the right approach, we will certainly cooperate,” Hafter added pointing out that the “appropriate approach will benefit Libya and its fight against terrorism. And I repeat, that means lifting sanctions against Libya — specifically those against the army.”