United Nations announces launch of Libyan political dialogue

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Wed, 28 Oct 2020 - 09:36 GMT

A general view of the talks between the rival factions in the Libya conflict at the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland October 20, 2020 . Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS

A general view of the talks between the rival factions in the Libya conflict at the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland October 20, 2020 . Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS

CAIRO - 28 October 2020: Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Libya, Stephanie Williams, announced on Monday the launch of political consultations between the Libyan parties via video conferencewithin the framework of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.The direct meeting will begin on November 9.

 

Williams said - according to a statement issued by the United Nations on Sunday - that the resumption of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum comes at a time when great hope prevails after the signing of the permanent ceasefire agreement throughout Libya on October 23. She indicated that the consultative meetings with several Libyan parties in the previous months facilitated the re-launch of the Libyan Political Forum.

 

The statement added that the UN mission had invited 75 participants representing all the political and social spectrums of the Libyan society, to participate in the first meeting of the comprehensive Libyan Political Forum via video conference.

 

The statement indicated that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum is a comprehensive Libyan-Libyan dialogue based on the outcomes of the Berlin Conference on Libya, which was approved by the Security Council Resolution 2510 (2020) and Security Council Resolution 2542 (2020).

 

Williams noted that the participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum were selected from different categories based on the principles of inclusiveness and fair geographical, political, tribal, and social representation.

 

She explained that the group includes representatives from the Libyan House of Representatives and the High Council of State, in addition to the active political forces outside the two institutions; this coordination takes place in light of the commitment tothe participation of women, and youth.

 

The statement indicated that the first meeting of the members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum reviewed the latest developments related to the economic and military tracks, the human rights path, and the international humanitarian law.The participants heard the recommendations of the meetings held by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General with representatives of the Libyan community from the municipalities, as well as women, youth and civil society representatives.

 

The mission called on all forum participants to shoulder their responsibilities before the Libyan people and to engage constructively and in good faith in the talks, placing Libya and the public interest as a priority.

 

The mission expressed appreciation for the commitment of the forum participants and the spirit of responsibility and patriotism of those who chose to withdraw from the Forum for Political Dialogue because of their desire to run for executive positions in the preliminary stage, which enhances the transparency and legitimacy of this process.

 

The statement emphasized that the main goal of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum is to find consensus on a unified executive authority and on the arrangements for holding national elections in the shortest possible time to restore Libyan sovereignty and give democratic legitimacy to Libyan institutions.

 

In exclusive statements to Egypt Today, Ali al-Takbali, a member of the National Defense and Security Committee in the Libyan Parliament, accused the United Nations Support Mission in Libya of selecting a large number of figures belonging to the political Islam movement.

 

In turn, Libyan Member of Parliament Ibrahim Al-Dorsi said that the Libyan people are interested in the political dialogue meetings to achieve their aspirations, explaining that no one knows the international mission's criteria for selecting names to participate in the political dialogue, and no one knows the reasons for the absence of figures with great influence.

 

Darsi criticized the marginalization of important figures in the eastern region of the country in favor of names that have no influence, ruling out the existence of a clear and specific mechanism for selecting the participating personalities. He stressed that the international mission was supposed to choose the political dialogue committee thoughtfully and not randomly.

 

Meanwhile, Libyan politician FarajYassin confirmed that most of the participants in the political dialogue meetings are ambiguous, accusing these participants of fueling the Libyan scene, especially those affiliated to the Brotherhood. Yassin further explainedthat they will not reach satisfactory results unless they are subjected to international pressure, most importantly from the United States.

 

The Libyan politician indicated that the Libyan military meetings had reached good results that were hindered by the reconciliation government, referring to the crimes of armed militiasthatdestroyedthe capabilities of the Libyan people and burnt oil tanks.

 

Yassin accused the United Nations of following the path of some Western countries that wrongly diagnosed the Libyan case to impose terrorist groups on the political scene.

 

The delegations of the Military Committee at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, signed a ceasefire agreement on October 23, in the presence of the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-general of the United Nations and the Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Stephanie Williams.

 

This agreement came as a result of the continuous efforts led by the Egyptian state to reduce tension inside the Libyan territories and achieve peace and security for the Libyan people.

 

The Cairo meetings in Hurghada and the six military meetings that were held in Cairo during the years 2017 and 2018 paved the way for the signing of the ceasefire agreement in the Swiss city, Geneva.

 

The success achieved today came as a continuation of the first face-to-face meeting hosted by Egypt in Hurghada late September,” Hafez said, urging the countries involved in the Libyan affairs to contribute to the efforts toensurethe ceasefire.

 

Previously, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with LAAF head, Commander KhalifaHaftar, and Libyan Parliamentary Speaker AguilaSalehin Cairo, to discuss ways to resolve the Libyan crisis. Both Libyan officials emphasized that any initiative to solve the crisis in the war-torn country has to include “the removal of Turkish-backed mercenaries and militias."

 

It is worth mentioning that GNA Head Fayez al-Sarraj announced earlier in September his intention to resign by the end of October.

 

Libya has suffered a severe division between two factions; the Libyan Parliament and the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal KhalifaHaftar in the east; and the GNA led by Fayez al-Sarraj. The latter is internationally recognized but is not accepted by the Parliament.

 

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