Sunday, May 25, 2014

Libyan Coup General Welcomes Protesters' Backing

    Sunday, May 25, 2014   No comments

Khalifa Belqasim Haftar
Libya's embattled parliament has approved an Islamist-backed government despite boycotts from non-Islamists and threats from a renegade general who considers the chamber illegitimate.

The Islamist-dominated parliament convened Sunday under heavy security and protection in a palace east of the capital. It was hours before quorum was achieved. Lawmaker Mohammed Samud said 83 out of 93 parliamentarians present voted in favor of Ahmed Maiteg, an Islamist-backed businessman from Libya's third city, Misrata.

Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who has led an offensive against Islamists and their allied militias, says the parliament has lost its legitimacy. His spokesmen had previously warned Islamist lawmakers against convening Sunday for this reason.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

The EU special envoy to Libya has appeared to distance himself from a renegade general leading an offensive against Islamists, stressing that his group seeks a solution in the North African country that respects and bolsters state institutions.

Bernardino Leon told reporters Sunday that the EU has not been in touch with Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who last week launched a military campaign in Benghazi against Islamist militias and the Islamist-dominated parliament, calling it a war on terrorism.

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Ed Isr

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