CIA Chief Makes Rare Meeting In Libya

( A rare meeting took place in Libya last week between U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief William Burns and Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah in Tripoli, according to Reuters. The Libyan government reportedly made the announcement on its Facebook page, posting a picture of the official and prime minister together.

Burns also met with eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, who is based in Benghazi, according to two sources close to Haftar. The CIA does not reportedly announce visits like these and declined to comment.

Warfare has plagued the country since the uprising in 2011 was sponsored by NATO. The country divided itself in 2014 between eastern and western factions, which led to an assault in Tripoli by Haftar in 2019.

As part of a United Nations-backed process, Dbeibah’s government was installed in 2021, but the administration is reportedly failing to be recognized by political factions in the east and west, which is causing Libyans to fear that another war may take place.

The United States has previously expressed its fear that Russia could be playing a part in Libya’s instability, which could affect the global energy supply as it remains an OPEC member. The instability could also pave the way for Islamist militant groups, according to the outlet.

During the war in 2019-2020, Russia backed Haftar’s forces with private military contractors working for Wagner. For its war in Ukraine, the Wagner Group is a “private military company serving as a mechanism of the Russian Federation armed services’ general staff,” according to American Pigeon.

The group deployed up to 1,200 troops in Libya, according to a 2020 UN report.

The U.S. is still looking for Libyan suspects connected to the 1988 bombing of a Pan-Am airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland after Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, was transferred to the U.S. He is reportedly accused of crafting the bomb that took down the plane.