7 November – 13 November: Italy’s Palermo international conference on Libya in begins

Nov 13, 2018 | International actors

On 12-13 November, Italy hosted its international conference on Libya in Palermo, an initiative aimed at gathering Libyan factions and international actors to push forward a solution to Libya’s persisting crisis. Reports suggest that East Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), decided not to take part in the conference but  instead attended meetings in Italy with heads of state.

On 8 November UNSMIL envoy Ghassan Salame briefed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Libya and officially confirmed that the Libyan elections announced for the end of 2018 will not take place. In his briefing, Salame commended recent efforts by the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Presidential Council at consolidating authority and ceasefire arrangements in Tripoli and explained the process and priorities aimed at improving the structure and performance of security apparatus in the capital and beyond.

Salame derided Libya’s official legislative institutions recognized by the Libyan Political Agreement, namely the House of Representatives and the High Council of State. As a result, Salame announced that the culmination of the ‘General National Congress Conference’ – a Libyan led process to be held in Libya – will take place early next year to produce the constitutional basis for elections in the first quarter of 2019.

On 7 November, Belgium’s parliament confirmed that it had been releasing interest on UN Sanctioned Libyan frozen funds since 2012. During parliamentary question time, Belgium Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt, stated that the release of interest was on legal grounds. Presenting a letter to the members of the House Finance Committee, dated 4 October 2012 and signed by the former Managing Director of the Belgian Treasury, it noted the unfreezing of the interests of Libyan funds was based on European law.