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Report: Libyan Strongman Haftar To Visit Moscow On August 12

Khalifa Haftar (file photo)

Powerful Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar is reportedly due to travel to Moscow on August 12.

Lev Dengov, who heads Russia's Libya contact group, was quoted as saying on August 11 that Haftar will discuss "the issue of his eventual meeting with the prime minister" of Libya's UN-recognized government, Fayez al-Sarraj.

Dengov told the Interfax news agency that "relevant questions on reconciling the parties and the conflict will be raised" during the talks, which come after Sarraj and Haftar agreed last month on a 10-point joint declaration on a new peace initiative.

Oil-rich Libya has been in turmoil since the ouster of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with regional powers siding with opposing camps that have vied for power.

Sarraj's government of national accord sits in the capital, Tripoli, and a rival government aligned with Haftar is based in the eastern city of Bayda.

Haftar, the leader of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, visited Moscow twice last year and was hosted on a Russian aircraft carrier off the coast of Libya in January, fueling speculation that Moscow is attempting to expand its influence in the North African country.

Based on reporting by Interfax and AFP