Libyan premier cancels visit after Haftar’s militia blocks airport

By Mucahit Aydemir

TRIPOLI (AA) – Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh has canceled a visit to Benghazi scheduled for Monday after militias loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar cordoned off Benina Airport.

Dbeibeh was about to depart from Mitiga Airport in the capital Tripoli late Sunday to visit Benghazi, according to Libyan government sources.

He canceled the visit and returned from the airport after learning of the move by Haftar’s militias, the sources added.

Dbeibeh was expected to hold a cabinet meeting in Benghazi, visit some institutions and regions and examine the condition of places damaged by the country’s civil war.

On Feb. 5, Libya's rival political groups agreed during UN-mediated talks in Geneva to form an interim government to lead the country to elections this December. Libyan delegates elected Mohammad Menfi to head a three-member Presidential Council and Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as the new prime minister.

Libyans hope the government will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar