Results of meeting between key rival officials in Libya are unclear
Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army(LNA) associated with the eastern-based government of the House of Representatives (HoR) was to a meeting in United Arab Emirates (UAE) just three weeks ago.
|The last meeting was at the invitation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. He is said to have met secretly with a US official at that time. The present meeting too is at the invitation of Sheikh Mohammed who is not just the crown prince of Abu Dhabi but deputy commander of the UAE armed forces. The UAE organized a meeting of Haftar with the head of the Presidential Council(PC) of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Faiez Serraj. There has been pressure from many quarters to have Serraj meet with Haftar, including Egypt, Russia, and the US.|
The members of the Security Council renewed their call in resolution 2259 (2015) on Member States to cease support to and official contact with parallel institutions that claim to be the legitimate authority, but are outside of the Libyan Political Agreement as specified by it.Numerous countries have had meetings with Haftar who heads the parallel LNA and with Ageela Saleh who heads the HoR parallel government and is actually sanctioned. The article notes that one of the prime reasons that Haftar does not accept the GNA is because under the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) that sets up the GNA section 8 gives the function of commander in chief of the Libyan Armed Forces to the PC rather than him. He wants to remain commander in chief.
Today there are signs that both sides may be willing to give an inch over the matter to reach a workable compromise. How long that will take in Libya’s snail-paced ‘progress’ is anyone’s guess.
Both men were expected to discuss army-related amendments to an agreement signed by the Libyan factions in Morocco in December 2015, according to Abu Bakr Baeira, a member of the eastern parliament. Libyan television broadcaster 218 reported that the two held talks "in private" after posing for a photograph together. Emirati officials did not immediately comment.