Turkey arranges meeting with president of GNC and prime minister designate of new Libyan GNA

The UN-brokered Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) will actually be in power only after a vote of confidence by the internationally-recognized House of Representatives (HoR) Libyan government based in Tobruk in the east of Libya.

A rival government is based in Tripoli in the west, the General National Congress (GNC). While the GNA still is in the process of formation, nevertheless officials designated in the UN's last draft of the Libya Political Agreement(LPA), that sets the parameters for the government, regularly meet with important officials from other countries. The officials have been acting as if the GNA exists and their positions confirmed long before the LPA was even signed. The agreement was never approved by either rival government and still has not been. The LPA requires it be approved by the HoR and the deadline for signing of January 27 is fast approaching. Recent meetings of the HoR have failed to reach a quorum and so have failed to vote on the GNA.
On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Faiez Serraj, the prime minister designate of the GNA government. The meeting was intended to indicate the strong support of Turkey for the GNA government. The two leaders were reported to have discussed ways to increase stability, fight terrorism, and provide support for the Libyan people, including how to build up institutions. Libya has had two main rival governments for some time but many areas are in fact ruled by local militias who are often a law unto themselves. The Islamic State has also established a firm foothold in the coastal city of Sirte, ironically Gadaffi's home town. The group has launched attacks in several areas including on nearby oil ports. Once the GNA has a vote of confidence from the HoR, it will be the sole recognized government, replacing the HoR. However the HoR remains as the legislature in the new government.
Aawsat reports that Nouri Abusahmain, the president of the General National Congress, is to travel to Istanbul to meet with Serraj. Up until now Abusahmain has rejected the GNA and promoted a dialogue among Libyans without foreign interference to come up with a solution to the political crisis. This project has been weakened since the president of the HoR, Ageela Salah, abandoned the project and is now said to support the GNA.
The Turkish mediation is apparently being aided by the designated representative from Cyrenaica for the GNA , Mohammed Zayed, who is said to have played a key role in convincing Abusahmain to come to Instabul for the meeting. Turkey is seen as more supportive of the GNC, which has a strong Islamist component, than other countries such as Egypt and the Arab League, who support Haftar and the HoR.
However, the GNC president sees the GNA as imposed by foreign interests and is concerned about the role of General Haftar and other former Gadaffi military officials in the Libya National Army(LNA). Serraj will need to convince Abusahmain that Haftar will not be commander in chief of the LNA once the GNA is formed. According to the LPA, this role will immediately go to senior officials of the GNA and Haftar will be relieved of his position, but many of the pro-Haftar members of the GNA think otherwise. As I wrote in a recent article, the status of Haftar in the new government is far from clear even though it is crucial to the success of the GNA that he be sidelined.


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