The head of Libya’s unity government said Wednesday he would soon hold talks with a rival field marshal to try to halt his country’s descent into chaos, Italian media reported.
Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, said he would meet in Cairo with Khalifa Haftar, whose forces support a rival administration, “possibly within days”.
“I confirm (the meeting) will take place soon,” Sarraj told Italian daily Corriere della Sera, adding that he and Haftar would “search for a solution for Libya”.
Libya has been dissending into chaos since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of longtime strongman Moammer Kadhafi, with rival parliaments and armed groups vying for control of the country and its vital oil wealth.
Sarraj’s UN-backed government was installed in Tripoli last year but has struggled to assert itself further east, where a rival parliament and Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army hold sway.
Egypt said last week it was working to organize direct talks between the leaders.
Sarraj said the meeting would be “face to face, without mediation” but warned that the two sides remained far apart.
“To insist only on the force of arms will drag us into a bloody civil war with massacres and anarchy,” he said.