Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Libya Dialogue members suggest amendments to Libyan Political Agreement.

The Libya Dialogue  delegates of the High State Council (HSC) from the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli and the House of Representatives (HoR) from the Tobruk-based rival government, met in the Hague Netherlands to discuss amendments to the Libya Political Agreement  signed in Skhirat Morocco in December of 2015.

The GNA is required to have a vote of confidence from the HoR. It has twice been rejected the last time on August 22 last year.There was supposed to be a new GNA presented within then days at the time. Ten months later no further meeting has happened.

 Now at least there are suggested amendments so that the HoR will presumably hold another vote soon but there is no date set for any HoR meeting to vote confidence again. The group agreed that the number of members of the Presidency Council(PC) main executive body of the GNA should be reduced from the present nine to three. This may not sit well with some regions. The number was originally three but was expanded to satisfy different regional groups among other reasons.The amendment also makes the PC separate from the government. It is not explained what this is supposed to mean. There was also agreement that there needed to be a united Libyan army that operated under the authority of the state.

Khalifa Haftar is not mentioned. He demands that the section of the LPA that gives the power of commander in chief to the PC be removed. He will demand that he remain as head of the Libyan armed forces. He is now commander of the Libyan National Army associated with the HoR government. The group also suggested that a draft constitution should be drawn up by five members each from the HoR and the HSC with the aid of the new UN envoy Ghassan Sallame. Sallame was invited to attend the meetings in the Hague but declined to go. Both sides reaffirmed that the LPA should be "the most visible instrument for meeting Libyans' demand for peace and stability". Yet no reference is made to the sections of the LPA under which the amendments are being made nor what the next steps are going to be. The talks took place over ten days hosted by the Dutch government with foreign minister Bert Koenders at the forefront of many of the talks.

While all the talking is going on Libya is being wracked by clashes with forces loyal to the old Salvation government east of Tripoli, and threats by eastern commander Haftar to "liberate" Tripoli.

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