The President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, met this Wednesday with Marshal Jalifa Haftar, leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), and the President of the Tobruk Parliament, Aguilah Saleh, to discuss the progress of the Libyan conflict, according to the Europa Press agency. Libya is divided under two administrations that claim authority over the whole territory. The Government of National Accord (GNA) is in Tripoli and has been recognised by the United Nations. It is backed by Turkey, Qatar and Italy and its legitimacy is disputed by the eastern authority presided over by Saleh and supported by Egypt, United Arab Emirates, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. For the time being a ceasefire has been in place since mid-August and various meetings and negotiations are under way to defuse the situation.
The spokesman for the Egyptian presidency, Basam Rady, stressed that Al-Sisi applauded the recent progress made in these talks and applauded Saleh's efforts to give priority to political life over military confrontation, as reported by the Egyptian daily Al Ahram. The Egyptian President said that the President had expressed his support for Marshal Haftar in "his fight against terrorism" and his commitment to a ceasefire, while calling for a new agreement on the holding of new elections.
The contenders in the conflict have held several meetings in recent weeks in Switzerland and Morocco which have brought the positions a little closer together. The chairman of the GNA, Fayez Sarraj, has shown his willingness to resign and hand over power to a new executive body at the end of October. Despite this, the GNA's defence minister, Sala al-Namrush, rejected political dialogue on Monday and accused Haftar of hindering the negotiations. The Tripoli and eastern authorities now have the huge task of agreeing on a new presidential council structure to unify the two administrations that are at odds with each other and call elections to attempt to put an end to the conflict in the African country. Aguilah Saleh has proposed a political initiative to unify the institutions and is currently leading the political talks of the eastern authorities, according to Arab and western diplomats.
The negotiations are beginning to bear fruit and Haftar announced last week that it would reopen the oil ports as a sign of goodwill towards the latest talks. Little by little, it seems that new areas of understanding are opening up to put an end to a dispute that has bled the North African country dry. The division into two administrations dates back to the 2014 elections and since then they have not managed to unify. There are now two Central Banks in the country and the international authorities have pointed out that it is necessary for them to be unified.