The 62-year-old businessman was designated as interim premier in February in a UN-led process.
Khalifa Haftar’s announcement comes two days after the candidacy of Seif al Islam Gaddafi, the son of the late ruler Muammar Gaddafi, who is accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
The Gaddafi era is still remembered by many Libyans as one of harsh autocracy, while Saif al Islam has been out of power for so long he may find it difficult to mobilise as much support as major rivals.
The removal of the mercenaries, the first batch to depart, is taking place in coordination with the UN Libya mission.
Regional experts say the US court has given Khalifa Haftar a longer leash ahead of the crucial December polls in Libya, delaying the justice to several victims.
Saddam Haftar visited Tel Aviv last week for a secret meeting, Haaretz reports, hinting at a deal in which the Haftars offer Israel normalisation of ties in exchange for military and diplomatic support.
Libya's three-member Presidential Council said in a decree that Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush took foreign policy decisions without consulting the council.
Presidential elections are around the corner, but efforts at democratic transition are threatened by both internal and external actors - as well as a history of authoritarianism.
The UN mission mediating between the rivals says a 10-member joint military commission, with five representatives from each side, inked a “gradual and balanced” withdrawal deal at the end of three-day, UN-facilitated talks in Geneva.
Eighty-nine of 113 lawmakers present in eastern city of Tobruk vote to withdraw confidence from Tripoli-based administration of interim PM Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.
Libya’s warring sides might be moving towards a political settlement through upcoming elections but risks for a military conflict remain.
While the reconciliation process has added a sense of optimism, several legal and security challenges remain, just months before the proposed elections in December.
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