Libya could hold elections next spring - Italy's foreign minister


"You don't need to change horse in the middle of crossing the river", the official quotes Haftar as saying.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev arrived on Monday evening in Italy's Palermo to attend the worldwide conference on Libya. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, among the participants, had recently reiterated Cairo's call for lifting the worldwide arms embargo against Libya.

"Haftar already succeeding in making the Palermo Conference about the importance of his role in any potential agreement in Libya going forward and reinforcing his position as the key actor in the Libyan crisis", said Mohamed ElJarh, CEO of research and consulting firm Libya Outlook.

A previous U.N plan for elections next month was shelved last week.

Italy has brought together the main players in the Mediterranean region and has kickstarted a dialogue on conflict-wracked Libya, Italy's Premier Giuseppe Conte tweeted on Tuesday.

Haftar, a former officer in Gaddafi's military who lived for years in exile in the United States, has emerged as the leader of the most powerful armed faction, having defeated Islamist militants in the east with support from Egypt and Arab states.

Serraj, heading the government in the west, has struggled to exert control beyond the capital Tripoli.

North Korea resumes ballistic missile program, maintains bases despite halt in launches
Since last week, North Korea has intensified its calls for Seoul not to participate in the vote via its various media outlets. "The CSIS report does a great job identifying missile operating bases that analysts have long suspected".

Libya plunged into chaos after the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and it is now governed by rival administrations in the east and west with both relying on the support of militias.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el Sisi, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, UN envoy Ghassan Salame, European Council President Donald Tusk and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian were also at the Sarraj-Haftar meeting on the conference sidelines, hosted by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Haftar arrived in Palermo late on Monday but did not take part in the opening dinner.

Analysts say the Sicily summit risks being compromised not only by tensions between Libyan factions, but also the competing agendas of foreign powers.

Libyan stakeholders all registered their presence with delegations sent by the Presidential Council, High Council of State and House of Representatives.

We urge Libyans and the global community to seize this opportunity by engaging fully with the United Nations to promote a more inclusive process, with a view to creating the conditions for national elections in the course of next year.