Libya : Saudi Arabia pledges funds to Haftar

epa04222565 Retired Libyan General Khalifa Haftar speaks during a news conference at an airbase, in Benghazi, Libya, 24 May 2014. Hundreds of Libyans on 23 May took to the streets in the country's two biggest cities in a show of support for a controversial military campaign launched by Haftar against radical Islamist militias. Haftar, who joined the 2011 armed uprising that toppled long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has said his action aims at driving "terrorists" out of the country. EPA/MOHAMMED ELSHAIKY

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Saudi Arabia has promised Haftar millions of dollars to fund his war against Tripoli, The Wall Street Journal said in a report on Friday, commenting that while some countries were talking about supporting stability in Libya, others are supporting Haftar.

The newspaper quoted Saudi sources, which it described as senior advisers to the Saudi government, that the offer came during Haftar’s visit to Riyadh, where he met with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, just days before his military operation against Tripoli.

Citing senior advisers to the Saudi government, the Journal said the offer of funds – accepted by Haftar – was intended to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders, recruit and pay fighters, and other military purposes. “We were quite generous,” one of the unnamed advisers told the Journal.

The latest conflict in the North African country pits Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) against forces allied to the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

The GNA controls Tripoli, situated in northwestern Libya, while the LNA is allied to a parallel administration based in the east of the oil-rich country, which splintered into a patchwork of competing power bases following the overthrow of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The visit was preceded by other foreign visits, over the course of weeks, which gathered Haftar with western officials.

The Saudi government refused to comment on the report nor the claims regarding the financing of Haftar’s forces, however, a Saudi official said: “We were very generous with him.”

Via Al Jazeera / Libya Observer / Wall Street Journal 

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