By Jihad Nasr
UN special envoy Ghassan Salame met with Khalifa Haftar, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army, in the eastern city of Benghazi on Thursday.
On its official Facebook page, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) confirmed Salame’s meeting with Haftar, who is affiliated with Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament.
The UNSMIL did not, however, provide reasons for the visit.
On Wednesday, Salame met with Aqila Saleh, speaker of the Tobruk-based parliament. And the day before that, he visited capital Tripoli, where he met with Fayez al-Sarraj, head of Libya’s UN-backed unity government.
The UN envoy’s sudden round of shuttle diplomacy comes only two weeks after he proposed a “roadmap” for resolving Libya’s ongoing political crisis.
Unveiled on the sidelines of last month's UN General Assembly meeting in New York, Salame’s plan consists of three stages: the amendment of the 2015 Skhirat agreement; holding a national dialogue between Libya’s disparate political factions; and holding of a popular referendum on the adoption of a new constitution.
Salame’s current tour also coincides with ongoing talks in Tunisia aimed at amending the 2015 agreement.
Signed in late 2015 in the Moroccan city of Skhirat, the agreement gave rise to Libya’s current UN-backed unity government.
One year after its signing, however, the Tobruk-based parliament disowned the agreement, demanding that it be reformulated.
Salame was appointed to head up UNSMIL in June, replacing outgoing Libya envoy Martin Kobler.