Libyan Military Leader Survives Assassination Attempt
The leader of the Libyan army, Khalifa Hafter, has survived an assassination attempt that he says was made by supporters of former president Gaddafi. Hafter himself is a former Gaddafi regime figure, but he defected in 1987 and spent two decades living in the U.S. before returning to Libya to participate in the revolution. Other Gaddafi-era figures currently residing in Egypt will be handed over to Libya, said Egyptian Foreign Minister Kamel Amr.
Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt held talks and issued a “Cairo Declaration” which aims for closer economic cooperation among the three countries. After the talks Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi said that, depending on the security situation, entry visas could possibly soon be abolished. Leaders have also expressed interest in collaborating on issues of terrorism, drug smuggling, and illegal migration.
Additionally, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki met yesterday to talk about increasing security cooperation. “I was pleased to begin a dialogue about how we can deepen that [security] cooperation in the range of common concerns, counter violent extremism and terrorism,” Panetta said. “There are a number of efforts that we can assist them with to develop the kind of operations, the kind of intelligence that will help effectively deal with that threat.”