The UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, declared to Alnabaa TV on Friday, April 13, that he spoke with Khalifa Haftar for up to 10 minutes at his Paris hospital and discussed with him the current situations in Libya. Now Salame changed his mind and wants to cancel his statement.
Alnabaa TV director, Walid Ellafi, tweeted on Sunday that the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) contacted Alnabaa newsroom and demanded them to retract Salame’s news about the 10-minute phone call with Haftar. Instead, they asked them to stick to the brief statement published on the UNSMIL Twitter account in this regard.
Salame’s statement to Alnabaa was made on Friday night shortly after the news of “Haftar’s death” went viral online and reported by many news outlets.
“Alnabaa newsroom rejected to scrap the news.” Ellafi tweeted.
According to observers, Salame wanted to quash Haftar’s death rumors by contacting Alnabaa.
Also on Friday night, the UNSMIL reported that “Salame and Haftar communicated via phone and discussed the general situation in Libya and the latest political developments in the country.” The UN mission did not say how long was the phone call or what time was it made.
Meanwhile, Khalifa Haftar’s fate remained uncertain on Sunday despite claims by his top aides that he would return to the country within 48 hours, starting from Saturday.
To add spice to the speculations, Khalifa Haftar’s former political adviser, Mohamed Buisier, claimed that there are ongoing meetings in Paris, sponsored by France’s external intelligence agency, to find a substitute to Khalifa Haftar. He posted on his official Facebook profile that some countries have suggested General Abdul-Salam Al-Hasi because the current military governor and chief of staff of the House of Representatives, Abdurazzak Al-Nadori, is regarded “persona non grata.”