Madinaty to open the largest and most luxurious food hall in the open air mall    Marota Developments to debut new phase of Mastro Mall in New Capital    Speed Clinic targets EGP 2.8bn revenues from COVID-19 tests for travelers from Saudi Arabia, Libya    UFM's priorities align with Egypt's Vision 2030: Shoukry    Washington calls for 'urgent negotiations' on Ethiopia conflict    International institutions agree on Egypt's attractiveness to foreign investments: Cabinet    Prominent Egyptian anchor calls on UK to designate "Muslim Brotherhood" a Terrorist entity    Shoukry in Barcelona for 6th UFM Regional Forum    No cases of Omicron variant in Egypt so far: Health Ministry    Egypt, UNICEF join hands to celebrate World Children's Day    Hope Givers Foundation honours Egyptologist Ali Abu Dashish    Art D'Egypte concludes 4th contemporary art exhibition "Forever is Now" at Giza Plateau    Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo to launch exhibition highlighting Arab-Austrian ties    Egypt's stocks end week in green as benchmark EWX 30 surges 0.69%    Egypt, Israel sign deal sign MoU to increase gas supplies, hydrogen transport    Mortada Mansour sets road map for Zamalek, after normalization committee depart    I seek to secure stable financial sources to build strong judo team: Motei Fakhr El-Din    Egyptian karate players dazzle world in UAE    Orascom Construction joins consortium to develop Egypt's first green hydrogen production facility    98 potential candidates run for Libyan presidency    'Lake Victoria – Mediterranean' navigation corridor awaits feasibility studies, funds: official    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    Egypt selected to host COP27 international climate conference in 2022    Number of British tourists to Egypt seen hitting 500,000 this winter – envoy    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Egypt, Greece ink deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa    SCOHRE sparks discussion on harm reduction, tobacco control    Egypt to receive first of six high-trains from Spain's Talgo in mid-November    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Preparing for the Libyan Dialogue Forum
Published in Ahram Online on 03 - 11 - 2020

Aguila Saleh, speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives (HoR), paid a two-day visit to Cairo on his way back from Malta this week in order to update Egyptian officials on preparations for the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), which is due to convene in Tunisia next week.
A number of recent developments have raised fears that last minute impediments could stall the long-anticipated meeting.
Fayez Al-Sarraj has backtracked on his decision to resign as chair of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli following a visit to Turkey. Until this point, it was thought he might at most postpone his resignation to avert a power vacuum in Tripoli while dialogue was still in progress. The reversal of his stance raises the prospect that he could remain in power much longer, especially in the event of a breakdown in efforts to form a new government.
Immediately upon his return to Tripoli, he said that elections were the best way to resolve the Libyan crisis, whereas most Libyan political forces expected to attend the LPDF, including Saleh, believe that it is premature to speak of general elections at this phase.
An HoR representative, who will be taking part in the forum, told Al-Ahram Weekly that security conditions were not ready and that there remained logistical questions related to the Libyan National Electoral Commission.
“It looks like the Turkish kitchen is cooking up obstacles to the political process,” said another parliamentary representative who had taken part in the consultative talks in Geneva in September. “The Turkish plan is to hold elections within six months in order to reproduce a situation that will keep Islamist forces at the fore in the political scene.”
Turkey is the source of another potential obstacle, this time on the military track. Stephanie Williams, UN acting special representative to Libya and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), paid a brief visit to Ankara before returning to Ghadames in Libya for the fifth round of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC), but apparently she had no luck in dissuading Turkey from violating crucial points of the permanent ceasefire agreement that senior Libyan military officials signed last month in Geneva.
Point two of the terms of the ceasefire agreement states that “until a new unified government assumes its functions, military agreements on training inside Libya shall be suspended and training crews shall depart.” But Turkish trainers are still in Libya and they are still training forces allied with the GNA.
The terms also call for the departure of all mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libyan territory. This is a point of great concern to Egypt. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an NGO, Turkey has transferred more than 18,000 mercenaries to Libya, the majority linked with extremist organisations. The JMC meeting in Ghadames is expected to discuss arrangements concerning their departure and Williams has said the UN would supervise and monitor the implementation of this point.
Mohamed Al-Misbahi, who heads the Supreme Council of Sheikhs and Notables of Libya, said the forum should be postponed for three months until this step was carried out.
Sources in Cairo, however, believe it is possible to carry out the ceasefire agreement in tandem so that the preparatory stage is not dragged out longer than necessary.
They add that since the UN Security Council has adopted the outputs of the fourth round of the JMC meeting which produced the ceasefire agreement, it should also assume the responsibility for creating the necessary guarantees to ensure that all mercenaries and foreign fighters leave.
In a statement to the Russian news agency TASS, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said that Egypt would not work with Turkey on the political process in Libya. Alluding to Ankara, he said that “there are parties that support extremism and work to transfer foreign militants and terrorists from Syria to Libya.”
Stressing Egypt's opposition to foreign military intervention in Libya, he said that “there is no justification for the attempts of certain countries outside the region to intervene in Libya.”
The UNSMIL has pointed out that it took Turkey only five days to renege on the pledges it had made in Berlin and to directly involve itself in Libya militarily. Just a day after the ceasefire agreement struck in Geneva last month, Turkish officers in Libya organised military training exercises for GNA forces, even as GNA sources reported that Russia had ordered the withdrawal of Wagner Group fighters from the confrontation lines in Sirte in keeping with the spirit of dialogue.
On 1 November, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia called on all foreign forces and security companies to leave Libya. The step was necessary to help stabilise the country and would help the ceasefire that was reached after a long impasse, he said.
But Turkey did not follow suit despite reports last month that Russia and Turkey had struck an agreement to coordinate steps in Libya.
Egypt has been working closely with European partners to promote an end to the conflict in Libya. President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi received a phone call from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the Libyan situation, and he restated Egypt's commitment to its strategic stance on the Libyan question, especially as concerns the need to support the talks currently in progress on the three tracks of the settlement process in accordance with the outputs of the Berlin Conference and the Cairo Declaration.
Despite such concerns, observers anticipate that the LPDF will convene as planned. Its success will be contingent on the arrangements that are in the process of being finalised, but many believe that they will also be influenced by the results of the US elections, which should be formally announced before the forum convenes.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 5 November, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.


Clic here to read the story from its source.