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On Oct. 23, Egyptian-mediated talks between the Libyan National Army the military faction led by Khalifa Haftar and which controls most of Eastern Libya and the internationally recognized Government of National Accord in Tripoli fell apart once again. These negotiations, stalled for six months, had resumed only one week earlier, reflecting Egypt's desire to stabilize its western neighbor by mediating a deal to unify the Libyan military.Yet the breakdown of dialogue over who would be commander in chief illustrates that Cairo is using negotiations to support Haftar instead.Haftar has been Egypt's close ally since January 2014, when he rejected extending the mandate of the General National Congress, which was dominated by Muslim Brotherhood members. As France and the U.N. pushed for a security-driven peace process in Libya, in August 2016 Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi decided to create a committee on Libyan affairs, headed by the armed forces' chief of staff Marshal Mahmoud Hijazi, to bring together all sides in dialogue.
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