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article imageOp-Ed: Meetings in Tunis to solve Libyan crisis end with no result

By Ken Hanly     Sep 6, 2016 in World
The Libyan Political Dialogue, the group that approved the Libya Political Agreement (LPA) in December of 2015 in Skhirat Morocco have just finished two days of talks to try to find a way to create a unified government over the entire country.
The UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) established as a result of the LPA has been operating in Tripoli for some time but has yet to extend its rule throughout the country, particularly the eastern sections where the House of Representatives has established a rival government with PM Abdullah Al-Thinni. The Libyan National Army, under the command of general Khalifa Haftar, is part of its armed forces. Haftar and his supporters virtually control the HoR government. Neither the HoR government nor General Haftar recognize the GNA or its armed forces. The HoR is required to give a vote of confidence to the GNA before its term is supposed to start. Nevertheless, the GNA has been active for some time with no formal vote of confidence. Once there is a vote of confidence, the HoR would become the legislature of the GNA. The GNA is operating with no legislature as of now.
Since the first rejection of the GNA by the HoR, numerous attempts were made to have a new vote of confidence but all either lacked a quorum or were disrupted without a vote. On August 22, a formal vote rejected the GNA by a large margin but the Presidency Council (PC) of the GNA was given a final chance to come up with a reduced cabinet of just eight ministers. The present number is 17 but four ministers resigned.
Jamel Achour, one of the participants in the Tunis talks, claimed the meeting was designed to "find urgent solutions to the stifling climate facing the country. “The Libyan nation needs the presidential council to take concrete steps ... to solve the problems we and our children are facing.”
There was an earlier consultative meeting held in Tunisia including members of the Dialogue and attended by Faiez Serraj the PM of the GNA and head of the Presidential Council (PC): Sources said that officials discussed during the meeting the means to form a unified army in Libya, as well as challenges facing the government, including service and financial infrastructure, as well as the resumption of oil exports and a solution to electricity shortcuts. The new round is said to be aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis in Libya.
The few comments upon the conclusion of the meetings indicate not much was achieved. One tweet said: "1st round of #LibyanTalks in #Tunis have ended without result #Libya." A report from MiddleEastEye expresses the same sentiment: "The “tense and difficult” first round of talks between Libyan political groups in the Tunisian capital Tunis have ended without result." The article suggests that the present meeting's aim was similar to that in August mentioned earlier.
The spin given the results by Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General were positive as seen by his tweet: "Members of the international community reiterated strong support for #Libya and political dialogue."" And in another tweet he says: "@KoblerSRSG. These two days of #Libya Political Dialogue were very constructive. Dialogue and inclusivity should guide the way." The PC was to have presented a new cabinet for approval by the HoR by last Thursday. It seems that the list is still not ready.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Martin Kobler, Libyan Government of National Accord, Libyan House of Representatives, Tunis Libyan Dialogue Talks
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