Western — 29 August 2016

Aug 29, 2016 | International actors

On 24 August, the Presidential Council (PC) issued statement accepting the House of Representatives (HoR) vote of no-confidence in the current Government of National Accord (GNA), adding that it will draw up a new list of GNA ministers for its approval, while current ministers will continue in office in a caretaker role until the new government is voted on.

UN Special Envoy Martin Kobler, US Special Envoy Jonathan Winer and British Ambassador Peter Millett all backed the PC’s position – showing that they are not willing to alter the Libya Political Agreement (LPA) because of HoR intransigence. On 25 August, a joint statement was issued by the France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States backing the PC and reiterating their recognition of the GNA as the sole legitimate government of Libya. The statement also repeated their rejection of any official contact with parallel institutions that claim to be the legitimate authority but are outside the UN-facilitated LPA.

Throughout the week, Kobler conducted frantic shuttle diplomacy in order to make a last push for HoR members and regional states backing various factions to enable the vote. The UN also extended an official invitation for PM Fayez Serraj to represent Libya in the UN annual assembly gathering, which was filled by Ageelah Saleh last year. This demonstrates the UN’s resolve to deal only with the GNA.

The UN facilitated political dialogue committee has invited members for a new round of talks in Tunis from 4-6 September to find a way out of the current impasse but this is unlikely to be successful without a new committee voted on by the HoR.