Meeting of Libyan parties in Morocco postponed without date

The security meeting held in Egypt and sponsored by the UN was "positive" in terms of "paving the way for peace talks"
The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita

AFP/FADEL SENNA  -   The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita

A conflict of agendas between the Libyan parties seems to be the reason for the postponement of the dialogue table that was intended to take place this Thursday in Morocco, according to Abdelkader al Hawaili, a prominent member of the Council of State.

The postponement of the meeting was confirmed by one of the Council's spokespersons, close to the Government of National Accord (GNA), Mohamed Abdel Nasser, who confirmed that the intention to hold the talks is still valid and that a round of consultations will be held to try to agree on a new date.

This meeting was scheduled to take place on Sunday in the Moroccan town of Bouznika, but at the last moment it was postponed to Thursday, although once again an incompatibility in the timetable, according to the official version, and an alleged standoff within the Moroccan institutions over how to address the Libyan question, according to the unofficial version, have left the meeting pending.

El mariscal Jalifa Haftar, líder del LNA
PHOTO/REUTERS-Marshal Jalifa Haftar, leader of the LNA

As reported by the Efe news agency, sources close to the Government of National Accord supported by the United Nations in Tripoli complained of an attempt by countries in the region and other states directly involved in the civil war to interfere in the peace process.The following were expected to attend: the leader of the Supreme State Council, Khaled al Mishri, and the head of the parliament elected in the city of Tobrouk, Aguila Saleh-nearly the Libyan National Army, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Morocco is being an active member for the mediation between the GNA and the LNA and Bouznika has already been chosen as the venue for these rounds of talks. At the beginning of September, both parties to the conflict reached an agreement on the need to achieve a "compromise" for the end of hostilities in the North African country.

According to the Moroccan news agency MAP, the parties agreed to work towards ending corruption and the misuse of public funds and to make "important commitments" that will "pave the way for the process of a comprehensive political settlement".
In 2015 Rabat was already the venue for the peace talks that led to the creation of the ANG.

Progress in Egypt

Furthermore, the two governments in dispute did meet on Monday in the Egyptian city of Hurgada, where they reached an initial agreement on security and military issues and put an end to two days of military and security talks.

The United Nations Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement that the discussions between the delegations representing Sarraj's government and Haftar's forces "were marked by a spirit of responsibility, transparency and mutual trust", as they addressed a number of urgent issues, including confidence-building measures; security arrangements in an area to be defined at a later stage in the framework of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) talks; and the tasks and responsibilities of the Oil Facilities Guard.

El presidente egipcio Al Sisi junto a Haftar y Sarraj en Egipto
AFP/EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY- Egyptian President Al Sisi with Haftar and Sarraj in Egypt

"Both delegations concluded their discussions with a set of recommendations to be submitted to the 5+5 JMC", the note added. UNSMIL assured that the two delegations planned to resume face-to-face meetings, starting next week, to release all those detained for their identity and without preconditions or restrictions; to take immediate steps to exchange, before the end of October, those detained during the military operations with the formation of specialised committees of the relevant parties, as reported by the Libya Observer newspaper.

"The participants reviewed the security arrangements, which will be determined at a later stage in the framework of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks," commented UNSMIL.

The UN mission described the progress made in Egypt as "positive" and assured to "appreciate the efforts of both delegations and welcomes the results achieved during the discussion".

The round of talks held in Morocco has more political objectives and those in Egypt focus on security in the military sphere. A few days ago, Sarraj announced his forthcoming resignation (before October), and called on the international community to support "elections that the Libyans have been waiting for for too long", said the leader of the GNA during the UN General Assembly.

For his part, Haftar and Saleh met in Cairo at the end of September to bring positions closer together. Saleh proposed a political initiative to unify the institutions and is currently leading the political discussions of the authorities that started to bear fruit when Haftar reopened the oil ports