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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Field Marshal Haftar participates in a meeting of leaders of neighboring countries and denies participation in the events of the Palermo conference

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

PALERMO – General Commander of the Libyan National Army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, arrived on Monday in Italy to participate in a meeting of leaders of neighboring countries to address the security problem on the common border and the fight against terrorism and migration. He denied participation in the events of the Palermo conference.

Upon his arrival, Field Marshal Haftar spoke exclusively to Libya Al-Hadath TV channel.

Q: Is your arrival today in Palermo to participate in the conference or for another reason?

Haftar: No, I have nothing to do with the conference. We sent a delegation four days ago to the conference and I think that they participated actively in everything but tomorrow [Tuesday] I am with the heads of state surrounding Libya, which is the “Ring” countries. These are the ones I will meet with tomorrow and we will talk about the results of their chances of being near Libya and many of the things we would like to talk about for the benefit of our two countries.

Q: Today, we saw you at the headquarters of the conference. Was it a participation or was it a reception?

Haftar: Yes, they received me but they take advantage of things. However, on the contrary, I was there only to meet the Prime Minister and after that I left immediately. I see everyone there but I have nothing to do with them.

Q: Do you confirm that you will not participate in the conference?

Haftar: We will not participate in it even if it stayed a hundred years. I have nothing to do with it. But all my participation is with the ministers of Europe and after my meetings with them at eight or nine o’clock I leave immediately. We have duties because of which we apologized for participation in the conference but also I’ll leave once the meeting ends with the ministers of governments and heads of states, which is important to me, and it will be tomorrow from 8 am to 9:30 am. The conference is from 10 am to 12 pm.

Q: For the conference of the neighboring countries of Libya, what are the most important issues to be addressed?

Haftar: For us, we are still in a state of war and therefore the country needs to take care of its borders and you know what is happening in the South and the countries of Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan and Egypt with regard to illegal immigration which is everywhere. Therefore they have to have an opinion and help us at least to monitor their borders well so as not to allow illegal migration to cross from it. Illegal immigration brings us the problems of the militias, al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Islamic militant movement and all extremists are coming from the border.

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