Western 15 Nov 2016

Nov 15, 2016 | International actors

On 9-10 November, the Libyan Dialogue Committee overseeing the UN-backed Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) met in Malta to discuss a way out of the current political impasse within the HoR, which is preventing the GNA from receiving legal recognition.  This international meeting was the first of its kind from which Jonathan Weiner, US special envoy to Libya, was absent, while the UN envoy and UNSMIL staff reportedly departed the meeting early.

However, the ongoing dispute between different factions over article 8 of the LPA, which relates to Haftar’s role in the Army, and the composition of the Presidential Council and High Council of State prevented any agreement being reached. The LPA agreement was signed in Skhirat by the Dialogue Committee on 17 December 2015, therefore if no breakthrough is achieved by 17 December this year then anti-GNA factions hope to reset the process. This trajectory is also pushing some hard-line backers of the GNA to threaten to forego the HoR entirely if the LPA is not endorsed by then, and to establish a de-facto parliament in western Libya instead.

On 13 November, UN Envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, met with HoR President Ageelah Saleh in the UAE, along with former National Transitional Council (NTC) PM Mahmoud Jibril and just-resigned ambassador to Libya for the UAE, Aref Nayed. According to Libyan media reports, Martin Kobler raised the issue of possibly ‘re-opening’ the LPA for amendments or returning to the ‘4th draft’ of the agreement which is more amenable to the anti-GNA faction. Saleh reportedly said that no new GNA government will be endorsed by the HoR without a change to the LPA process. Kobler himself tweeted briefly after the meeting that he had agreed with Saleh to continue moving forward within the framework of the internationally recognised LPA.