May 2, 2017 / 1:12 PM / 7 months ago

Key figures from rival Libyan camps meet in Abu Dhabi - official

BENGHAZI, Libya May 2 (Reuters) - Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar met the head of the country’s U.N.-backed government Fayez Seraj in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, reversing his previous refusal to engage with the Tripoli government despite months of diplomatic pressure.

Regional and Western powers have been pushing the two to discuss resetting a U.N.-mediated agreement that led to the creation of Seraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA). The deal was an attempt to end Libya’s turmoil since the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Hamad Bindaq, a member of Libya’s eastern parliament travelling with Haftar, said Haftar and Seraj were due to hold talks in Abu Dhabi after being pictured on social media together for the first time since early 2016.

Haftar is the dominant figure for factions in eastern Libya that have rejected the GNA, contributing to its failure to expand its power in Tripoli and beyond. Key rival armed factions in the west of the country have backed the GNA. (Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli in Benghazi, Libya; Writing by Aidan Lewis; editing by Patrick Markey)

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