CAIRO: Libyan leader Khalifa Haftar urged all Arab countries to confront the Muslim Brotherhood, which he called a group of “devils” in a Friday interview with CBC Extra.
Haftar, who is leading the newly formed Libyan national army, said he would hand over and brotherhood members who are cooperating with the “terrorist militia” in Libya to Egypt.
Haftar’s “Operation Dignity” against the Islamist militia in Libya is a mission to secure the Libyan people against those “terrorists,” he said.
Relations with Libya have been strained in the recent period; a number of Egyptian workers were deported earlier this spring after they were found to be without visas, and economic migrants are routinely arrested at the borders accused of illegal migration. The Egyptian Cabinet also called on Egyptians not to travel to Libya in a Thursday statement.
Haftar criticized the General National Congress which was formed after the Libyan revolution three years ago to take over the running of the country temporarily, adding the GNC was suspended three months ago and “works without legitimacy.”
He said the current demonstrations are a type of an overall authorization to what he is currently doing; referring to the thousands of the demonstrators rallied Friday in Benghazi supporting him.
He said he would form a presidential council to assign a new interim government, adding the transitional period will last for six months and during this period there will be an elected parliament will call for presidential elections.
“My role is to achieve safety and security to Libya,” he added.
Haftar, who once served in the Libyan army under Gadhafi emigrated to United Sates where he lived for almost 20 years, and returned to Libya in 2011.
The GNC announced in a press conference Thursday that it would hand over authority after implementing the parliamentary elections which are slated to be held on June 25.
“I am looking forward to meet with Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, for his role as an efficient military leader who led his country to stability,” Haftar said in another Friday interview with Arabiya TV channel.
Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour held a meeting Thursday with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, the ministers of defense, interior, foreign affairs, transport, media, and the head of the General Intelligence Services to discuss the latest developments in Libya and their possible consequences on Egypt.
During the meeting, Mansour called on Mahlab to take all necessary measures to secure Egypt’s borders with Libya.