After a meeting in Tunis with select representatives of the Libya dialogue members, one member from each of the parliaments announced that the latest draft Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) had a target date of December 16 to be signed.
|The Libya dialogue was started over a year ago now, with the UN Special Envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon , heading the process. There were numerous groups in the dialogue and several parallel dialogues but the main one was intended to forge a deal between the two rival governments. The internationally-recognized government is in Tobruk in the east the House of Representatives (HoR). The rival government is in the west in Tripoli — the General National Congress (GNC). The final deal or Libya Political Agreement (LPA) would also involve the formation of a Government of National Accord (GNA). Towards the end of his tenure as head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, Leon presented the two parliaments with a final draft of an LPA with names of senior members of the GNA. In spite of several deadlines neither parliament ever voted on this LPA.|
The Security Council welcomed the Dec. 16 target date and expressed “grave concern” at the expansion of Islamic State extremists and their threat to Libya and the region. Council members “stressed that a unity government must be formed swiftly to counter this threat” and they again threatened sanctions against those impeding the restoration of peace and stability.It is the UN demand to pass the LPA in the face of refusal of either parliament to do so that is creating further divisions and instability in Libya. The meeting today in Rome on Libya will be co-chaired by US Secretary of State John Kerry and include Foreign Ministry representatives from Tunisia, the UAE, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt as well as delegates from the EU. Martin Kobler will be there to promote his plan.
Intense diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Libya are of course welcome, but there are risks associated with a precipitous rush to anoint a government without consolidating domestic support or addressing urgent security concerns. Ending negotiations will strengthen hardliners; granting recognition to a government that has insufficient backing will condemn it to irrelevance.One might add that at present the GNA will not have the support of either rival government or of the main armed forces associated with either.