New round of Libyan negotiations in Morocco 

Libyan forum agrees mechanism for election of a new transitional government 
asser Bourita, Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación Internacional de Marruecos, preside una reunión de representantes de las administraciones rivales de Libia en la ciudad costera de Bouznika, al sur de Rabat, el 6 de septiembre de 2020 

AFP/FADEL SENNA  -   Nasser Bourita, Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, chairs a meeting of representatives of Libya's rival administrations in the coastal city of Bouznika, south of Rabat, on 6 September 2020. 

Parliamentary representatives from Libya's rival camps on Friday launched a new round of talks in Morocco as part of the ongoing process to bring the country out of the chaos in which it finds itself.  

The consultative meeting held in Bouznika, a seaside resort south of Rabat, brings together for two days the leaders of the Libyan House of Representatives and the High Council of State in a format called "13+13", according to information gathered by AFP on the spot. 

According to the government of national unity (GNA), recognized by the UN and based in Tripoli, this new round will designate, as in previous rounds held in Morocco since September, the posts of sovereignty, such as those of the electoral commission, the Central Bank or the anti-corruption commission. 

Indeed, since the end of September, the Kingdom of Morocco has been conducting parliamentary talks that have already led to several "consensus", particularly on the distribution of "sovereign posts" at the head of Libya's strategic institutions. 

After the failure of the offensive launched by Marshal Haftar in April 2019 to take Tripoli, the two parties concluded a ceasefire in October 2020 and returned to the path of dialogue, encouraged by the UN. 

This announcement comes the day after delegations from the Parliament of Tobruk (eastern Libya) and the High Council of State of Tripoli held the second round of negotiations in the Egyptian city of Hurghada, on the Red Sea coast, under the auspices of the United Nations Special Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). 

At the meeting, which focused on the constitutional arrangements necessary for holding parliamentary elections in Libya on 24 December, the two sides reached an "agreement to hold a referendum on the draft constitution in preparation" for the elections, the foreign ministry said in a statement. 

The approval of the new text is one of the cornerstones of the political process that should lead to the December elections, and should be completed before the end of this month, according to the agreement reached last November.  

The talks between MPs come at a time when mediation to unblock the country with Africa's most abundant oil reserves is on the rise. 

AP/WALID HADDAD - Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission speaks at a press conference in Tunis, Tunisia, on 6 September 2020. 
AP/WALID HADDAD - Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission speaks at a press conference in Tunis, Tunisia, on 6 September 2020. 

The complicated situation in Libya has forced a multitude of actors, from countries to international organisations, to put maximum effort into mediation and the development of forums of all kinds to try to take steps towards a solution that will end the conflict. Countries such as Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt have hosted meetings at different stages in recent months, at different levels, mainly at the military and political level. In Libya, the entanglement of interests, dynamics and movements makes it very difficult to develop the talks. In addition, of course, to the interference of third countries such as Turkey and Russia. 

The United Nations, which is closely following all these sessions, being one of the main mediation organisations, has stressed the importance of the constitutional agreement that is trying to be forged. According to the Special Envoy for Libya, Stephanie Williams, who spoke by videoconference during the session in Hurghada, this is the basis on which everything else is based. "If this does not happen, other issues such as security and the economy will be greatly affected," she said. 

The new transitional government will have the task of pacifying the country, managing day-to-day affairs and establishing all the necessary conditions for the December consultation.