Libya’s General Khalifa Haftar has ended a top-secret visit to Egypt for three or four days.
General Haftar left Egypt on Wednesday after a secret visit and headed to Jordan on a private plane, according to Sada Al-Balad newspaper website, close to the Egyptian authorities, Sada Al-Balad newspaper website, close to the Egyptian authorities.
However, the Egyptian newspaper rushed to delete the name of Haftar from the headline on its website and replaced it with “a top Libyan official”, in a seemingly clear attempt to keep the visit off the media.
Sources said that Haftar and his delegation, including 11 of his top assistances, discussed during the visit with Egyptian top military and political figures the latest issues in Libya and how the Egyptian regime can continue supporting him in his alleged war on terrorism.
In fact, this visit comes after Haftar’s latest visit to Moscow where he discussed with Russian top officials the support he needs on both the military and political levels.
There were many speculations based on media reports stating that Haftar has strengthened ties with Moscow recently due to his close relations with al-Sisi of Egypt who has been moving recently toward the Russian axis.
Debka, an Israeli Intelligence new website, described Haftar as Libyan military militia leader that is supported by Egypt and some Gulf countries.
It also claimed that some elements in Egypt and the Gulf prompted Haftar to request the Russian support.
It is noteworthy that Khalifa Haftar has visited Egypt four times so far this year.
Al-Sisi of Egypt is a strong supporter of Haftar’s forces in the east as reports and leaks from there showed Egypt’s involvement in backing up Haftar’s air force and even personnel as well as in sending experts on the ground in Benghazi and other eastern districts under Haftar’s control.
In September, Haftar started extending his power in the east with the assistance of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
Egypt’s Armed Forces have been mandated to protect joint borders from the sea to the Libyan-Sudanese borders.
Haftar requested the Egyptian army to protect Libyan-Egyptian borders from Imsaad, in the north, to the Libyan-Sudanese borders, as well as the maritime boundaries between both countries, which means that Haftar has granted Egypt unprecedented authority on Libyan territory.
Moreover, the Defense Ministry in the UN-backed government has recently indicated that foreign warplanes played a key role in defeating Petroleum Facilities Guards forces.
The Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) -led by Ibrahim Jadhran- withdrew from the Oil Crescent region in east Libya, hours after retaking Sidra and Ras Lanuf oil terminals from Haftar’s militia known as the Libyan National Army (LNA).
“PFG accused Egypt and the UAE of bombing their forces near the residential district of Ras Lanuf. Four PFG fighters were killed in the airstrikes,” according to The Libya Observer.
The Defense Minister-designate Al-Mihdi Al-Baraghati also said that, “There are strong indications that the UAE and Egyptian warplanes bombed PFG forces in Ras Lanuf and Sidra, we are now making sure of these indications.”
The Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Haftar had taken over oil facilities in eastern Libya from Petroleum Facilities Guards, a rival militia force allied to the UN-backed government in the capital, Tripoli.
Moreover, the oil tankers transporting Libyan petrol from Haftar-controlled regions in the east will be under Egypt’s authority. In practice, the oil tankers will only be able to carry the oil and export unless Cairo approves.
With the assistance of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Haftar succeeded in controlling the oil terminals in eastern Libya.