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Libyan Official Holds Sarraj Responsible for Failing to Unite Army at Cairo Talks

An official source in the Libyan National Army accused head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj of prolonging the Egypt sponsored negotiations aimed at uniting the Libyan military.

A senior official in the Libyan parliament, meanwhile, doubted that UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salameh, would be successful in his mission to hold presidential and parliamentary elections before the end of the year.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the delegation, representing Sarraj at the Egypt talks, had resorted to stalling whenever discussions turned to determining the relationship between the Libyan army, in case it was unified, and the executive authorities in the country.

“Sarraj took advantage of these negotiations to form the command of the army in western Libya, and now he has acquired staff and heads of branches through a series of recent military appointments,” the source, who is close to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, said.

“Sarraj has a formal command structure on paper only, but he not have any professional forces on ground,” the source noted, saying that this marks a precedent where “you have an army without any real soldiers.”

The final communique of the Cairo meetings did not include any sign that an agreement would be reached over the army. It did however, say that meetings will be held in the Egyptian capital during the coming period in order to complete the four technical committees, which have been formed during the previous six rounds.

Friday’s statement said that uniting the military will help push forward political efforts during this critical time.

For his part, President of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives’ National Defense and Security Committee, Talal al-Mayhoub expressed pessimism over Salameh’s efforts to amend the Skheirat agreement and hold elections by September.

Mahyoub told Asharq Al-Awsat that there will be no elections before an agreement is reached on a consensual constitution in the country.

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