DUBAI: The Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar threatened to “spread” war to neighbouring Algeria if it continues to conduct regular military incursions in Libyan territory.
In a video that circulated on social media, Haftar says that “war could be spread, in moments, to the Algerian border” and that “Libyan forces are ready to go to war immediately.”
He added that Algeria “was exploiting the security situation in Libya” and accused Algeria of sending soldiers to Libya.
The Algerian foreign ministry has yet to respond to the commander’s threats, however, an Algerian source told the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that officials from the ministry held a meeting on Sunday morning to address Haftar’s statements.
According to the source, views varied on whether a response should be made in order to avert any tensions between the two neighbors given Algeria’s mediation efforts in Libya.
Meanwhile, the Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi held talks with Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi on Monday in a bid to strengthen ties.
Talks focused on efforts to organise elections in Libya and to relaunch relations with Italy.
The Libyan capital has been at the centre of a battle for influence between armed groups since dictator Muammar Qaddafi was driven from power and killed in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.