Haftar calls Libya unity "red line" after speculation about his partition intentions
Khalifa Haftar stressed in a speech at Benghazi's Keesh Square that Libya's unity is a red line, adding that his forces won't allow any interventions in the country's unity.
Haftar was speaking at a large gathering of his supporters as he was expected to announce that the areas controlled by his forces in eastern and southern Libya are autonomous from the rest of Libya to pave the way for secession from the state of Libya in its current shape.
Sources close to Haftar confirmed over the past days the latter's intention to declare self-governance on the anniversary of independence on December 24, however, the same sources confirmed on Friday night that Haftar retracted his intention after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aqila Saleh, and the Heqd of the High Council of State, Khalid Al-Mishri, announced the resumption of dialogue to reach a constitutional basis for holding elections.
The sources indicated that the agreement of Al-Mishri and Saleh said that the House of Representatives would not proceed with the establishment of a constitutional court and resume dialogue, which is a preemptive move to thwart Haftar's secession step.
In his speech Saturday, Haftar announced what he called a "last chance" to draw up a roadmap that includes holding elections. He stressed the need for a fair distribution of oil revenues without marginalization of any region, remarking that "only the Libyans are able to solve their problem and establish a unified Libyan state."