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In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, General Khalifa Haftar, who controls the east of Libya, discussed the landmark deal agreed in France on Tuesday with his rival Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the UN-backed unity government. Haftar ruled out any possibility of dialogue with “extremists”.
►► On France24.com: Libyan PM Al-Sarraj and Haftar agree to ceasefire at Paris talks
“There is no ceasefire with these people”. In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24’s Taoufik Mjaied on Wednesday July 26, Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar, whose forces control the east of the divided country, ruled out any possibility of dialogue with terrorist groups there.
“Military solutions shall be selected for enemies,” Haftar told FRANCE 24. “For example, the Islamic State group, al Qaeda, the Libyan fighters’ group and also the Benghazi defence brigades. And also extremists (such as) the Muslim Brotherhood. These are enemies, there is no doubt on that and there will be no dialogue with them. We will deal with them through weapons. There is no ceasefire with these people.”
A thinly veiled reference to some of Libya’s armed groups, which he accuses UN-backed PM Fayez al-Sarraj of having links with.
►► On France24.com: Watch our interview with Fayez al-Sarraj, Libya’s UN-backed prime minister
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In This Story: Libya
Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest.
The sovereign state is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over three million of Libya’s seven million people. The second-largest city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.
Libya became independent as a kingdom in 1951. A military coup in 1969 overthrew King Idris I. Parts of Libya are currently split between rival Tobruk and Tripoli-based governments, as well as various tribal and Islamist militias.
Libya is a member of the United Nations (since 1955), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League, the OIC and OPEC. The country’s official religion is Islam, with 96.6% of the Libyan population being Sunni Muslims.