Showing posts from December, 2015

HoR meets twice but both times fails to vote on GNA due to lack of a quorum

The internationally-recognized Libyan government, the House of Representatives (HoR), met today to vote support for the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) brokered by the UN and signed on December 17 in Skhirat, Morocco.
The LPA was signed by members of the Libyan political dialogue. The dialogue was intended to reach agreement on a political solution to the division of Libya between the internationally-recognized HOR in the east in Tobruk, and the General National Congress (GNC) in the west in Tripoli. Neither the former UN Special Envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, nor his successor, Martin Kobler, were able to convince either parliament to agree to Leon's final draft of the LPA. Kobler was able to circumvent the parliaments and simply gather together representatives of the dialogue in Skhirat, including members of the two rival parliaments, and have them sign the agreement. This underhanded, devious process was subsequently given the blessing of the UN Security Council and a large …

UN-supported GNA gains more supporters but with conditions attached

Opposition to the UN-sponsored Government of National Accord(GNA) appears to be evaporating within the membership of the internationally-recognized House of Representatives (HoR) based in Tobruk.
The GNA is part of the Libyan Political Agreement(LPA) signed on December 17 by members of the Libyan political dialogue, a group assembled by the UN to negotiate a political agreement between the two rival Libyan governments. The internationally-recognized government, the House of Representatives (HoR), is located in the east in Tobruk. The rival government is based in the west in Tripoli, the General National Congress (GNC). While members of both rival governments signed the LPA, none were authorized to do so by their respective parliaments and neither government approved the LPA. In a sense there was no agreement at all but in its place an LPA was imposed on the two rival governments. The whole process for quite a long time has been staged by the UN, which ever since Martin Kobler took ove…

Martin Kobler SRSG for Libya holds press conference on situation in Libya

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General(SRSG) in Libya, Martin Kobler, held a press conference on the situation in Libya including an extensive question period. A video of the entire event is appended.
There were only a few reporters at the press conference but they were allowed ample time to ask questions. While some of the questions brought up significant issues and Kobler's answers added to our information of what is to happen and UN plans, there were also questions that were not asked that I would have expected. For some time now I have been watching the UN site for any release of the text of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) that was signed on December 17 in Skhirat, Morocco. Surely this is a significant document. The most recent text released of the LPA is from July 2. The UN does post the text of the recent UN Security Council Resolution supporting the LPA and the Government of National Accord. One would think reporters would be anxious to have the signed …

January oil export from Texas first in 40 years from US as ban lifted

Enterprise Products Partners LP, a Texas energy company, plans to load 600,000 barrels of light sweet crude from South Texas into a tanker at its terminal in the Houston Ship Channel during the first week of January.
 1 of 2 Vitol Group, a Dutch firm, is buying the crude. The crude will be sent to a refinery in Switzerland where a subsidiary of the company owns a refinery according to a source familiar with the company.Jim Teague,chief operating officer, of Enterprise's general partner said: “We are excited to announce our first contract to export U.S. crude oil, which to our knowledge may be the first export cargo of U.S. crude oil from the Gulf Coast in almost 40 years.” Shell Oil also welcomed the lifting of the export ban and said it considered the move "beneficial to government, industry and consumers, alike." Republicans in Congress argued the ban was obsolete due to the huge increase in U.S. production, much of it due to fracking. The ban was imposed back in 1975 wh…

Libya Herald provides useful time-line of formation of Libyan Government of National Accord

Sam Zaptia, journalist and co-founder of the Libya Herald, has provided a useful outline and diagrams sketching the projected process of setting up the new Government of National(GNA) and then the approval of a new constitution and subsequent elections.
The Libya Herald published the outline based on UN documents. Unfortunately, the documents are out of date. They must have been prepared while Bernardino Leon was UN Special Envoy to Leon since there are specific dates in late October mentioned in which certain events were to take place, but nothing happened at that time! Nevertheless, Zaptia's outline still gives a good overall picture of what the UN plans. The diagrams are small within the article but if you click on them, they appear separately and in large enough format to read easily. The Libya Political Agreement(LPA) was signed on December 17 in Skhirat, Morocco, by some members of the Libyan Political Dialogue sponsored by the UN, including members from the two rival parlia…

UN Security Council for LPA could facilitate foreign intervention in Libya

Today, the UN Security Council passed a resolution supporting the Libya Political Agreement (LPA) together with the associated Government of National Acoord (GNA).Several articles now suggest the GNA will ask for foreign aid in fighting the Islamic State.
TheGuardian notes that while the UN resolution is intended to give support to the GNA, it could also pave the way for potential military intervention against the Islamic State. The GNA could request such intervention. The UN resolution was sponsored by the UK. Britain has already reported that it is ready to send 1,000 troops but the RAF could make bombing runs sooner. Perhaps there could be more bombings bymystery planes as happened over the IS-controlled city of Sirte at the end of October.The mass media did not bother to investigate whose planes they might have been. The Guardian claims no parliamentary approval would be required for the UK to send troops since they would go at the invitation of the Libyan GNA. An RT articlealso a…

Egypt signs oil deal with rival to independent Libyan National Oil Company

International oil companies so far have dealt only with the National Oil Company(NOC) based in Tripoli that has maintained a position of neutrality between the two regimes.
The internationally-recognized House of Representatives (HoR) has set up its own rival National Oil Corporation in the east in the hope of keeping all the oil revenues for itself no doubt. So far over the course of almost a year none of the larger international oil companies have been willing to deal with this HoR creation. However, now the eastern -based NOC has reportedlysigned a dealto export 2 million barrels of oil to Egypt a month to the Egyptian General Petroleum Company. The UN and the international community have called for respecting the neutrality of the two main sovereign bodies that give Libya whatever unity it still has, the NOC and the Central Bank of Libya(CBL). This move is particularly worrisome since with the advent of the new Government of National Accord(GNA) the UN and the international oil co…

CIA-Linked Khalifa Haftar may stay on as Commander in Chief of National Libya Army

On December 17th in Tunis, the UN-sponsored Libya Political Agreement(LPA) was signed by some members of the internationally-recognized House of Representatives(HoR) based in Tobruk and the rival General National Congress(GNC) based in Tripoli.
Neither of the two parliaments approved of or even voted on the LPA, nor did those who signed from the two bodies have any authorization from either body to do so. The LPA has subsequently been endorsed by the UN Security Council and a large ministerial meeting in Rome. Most press coverage has praised the LPA but also expressed reservations about whether the attempt to establish the new Government of National Accord(GNA) associated with the agreement will be successful. Lately there have been more critical articles. Surprisingly the formerly pro-HoRLibya Herald and the pro-GNC Llibya Observer both published the same critical article by Richard Galustian. Two new critical articles were just released on Libya Analysis by Jason Pack a well-known c…

Articles by Richard Galustian critical of Libyan Political Agreement

While western media have from the first noted the difficulties involved in implementing the terms of the Libya Political Agreement(LPA) recently signed by some members of each of the rival parliaments, the process itself has had less scrutiny.
The resulting agreement and the associated Government of National Accord(GNA) have been endorsed by the UN Security Council,and also a large group of foreign ministersmeeting in Rome. I have written numerous articles critical of the whole process and the result as well. Back onDecember 12, I wrote an article predicting the UN would in effect force the LPA on Libya in preparation for and to legitimize foreign military intervention in Libya against the Islamic State. Recent announcements of plans for military intervention by the UK and Italy confirm this viewpoint.I also arguedthere was in effect no LPA because neither of the two rival governments, the internationally-recognized House of Representatives(HoR) located in the east in Tobruk, nor the …

Russian city wants to elect cat as mayor

The Russian city of Barnaul is to get a new mayor next week. The city with about 650,000 residents is about 2,900 kilometers or 1,800 miles to the east of Moscow.
The mayor is to be picked not by vote but the city council together the regional governor will make the choice from six candidates. However, in a poll in which a cat named Barsik ran against the six official candidates, Barsik was the choice of more than 90 percent of those who voted. The cat naturally is somewhat of a media sensation. Residents are fed up with the corrupt city government. As the regional governor,Alexander Karlin, put it: "Through the image of Barsik the cat, our people are sending definite wishes to the future head of Barnaul." Ivan Karpov, a local Communist Party official said more bluntly: "The conclusion has been made that there's absolutely no trust among voters for any of the candidates." Barsik, a blue-eyed Siamese cat, is probably more photogenic than the six human competitors…

Many countries waiting in line for new Libyan government to request troops to fight the Islamic State

Since the UN-sponsored Libya Political Agreement(LPA) was signed recently, the international community is looking forward to dealing with the new Government of National Accord(GNA)
Many countries are waiting to send troops to deal with what is portrayed in the media as a huge and growing threat from the Islamic State or Daesh even though the group lost one of its main Libyan bases in Derna last June and has not regained it but has been driven into the nearby mountains. As long ago as early last August, there were plans being made to intervene long before the LPA was signed. The UN and the international community thought that the GNA would be agreed to long before now and the plans were to get permission from the newly minted and legitimate GNA to send their troops. The plans had to be put on hold, as the former UN Special Envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon was unable to get either the internationally-recognized government the House of Representatives(HoR) located in Tobruk in the east, or…