Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper revealed that retired Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has recently visited Damascus secretly, followed by Head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, who also attended the Syrian capital last mid-week, in light of coordinating efforts against Turkey.
The newspaper said that Haftar’s visit paved the way for the resumption of diplomatic relations between the parallel government in Benghazi, the Syrian regime and the Interim Syrian Government in Damascus, in addition to reviving the Syrian diplomacy. The primary objective of both visits (Haftar’s and Kamel’s) was to coordinate efforts to counter the Turkish role in several regions, most importantly in Syria and Libya.
The newspaper pointed out that the relationship between the Syrian regime and Haftar dates back to many years ago, as some of Haftar’s family members live in Damascus, as it is the case with the relatives and grandchildren of the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, stressing that the relationship between Haftar and the regime is based on opening coordination channels against Turkey.
In other words, Al-Assad will be sending military, security and combat experts to contribute to operations led by the Haftar forces against the forces of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj, in conjunction with Russia sending Syrian fighters from the area controlled by the regime forces, especially in Ghouta and Damascus, in addition to recruiting the Wagner Group mercenaries and using the Hmeimim Air Base to transfer equipment and ammunition to battlefields in Libya.
On 1 March, the Syrian regime and the parallel government in the Libyan East, headed by Abdullah Al-Thani, and backed by Haftar, signed a memorandum of understanding to reopen the headquarters of diplomatic missions on both sides.
The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that the Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Al-Muallem, received a Libyan delegation headed by Abdel Rahman Al-Ahirish, Deputy Prime Minister of the parallel government, and Abdul-Hadi Al-Hawaij, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.