Libyan National Committee Held a Meeting in Cairo to Discuss the Latest Developments in Libya

The Libyan National Committee held a meeting in Cairo to discuss the latest developments regarding conditions in Libya and efforts to resume dialogue between the Libyan factions, as stated by the Egyptian army’s spokesperson.

The committee asserted that a consensual solution to the current Libyan current crisis is the only viable solution that will preserve the Libyan people’s unity, according to the statement.

The statement read,“The National Committee assigned to achieve reconciliation in Libya expresses its appreciation of the high degree of cooperation by all Libyan entities that are present in the meetings being held this week by the Libyan parliament and the Libyan Higher Council of the State to implement the recent results of the Cairo meetings.”

In fact, the Egyptian armed forces, represented by its Chief of Staff, Mahmoud Hegazi, has been playing a mediator role between the different Libyan factions to reach a comprehensive reconciliation that put an end to the ongoing unrest and civil war there.

The last months have witnessed excessive activities from the Egyptian side regarding the Libyan crisis.

On December 13, 2016, Cairo hosted a conference attended by Libyan officials and representatives from the country’s numerous factions, where they issued a declaration of principles and five proposed amendments to an agreement, brokered by the UN in 2015.

The Libyan Political Agreement, signed in Skhirat, Morocco December 2015 known as the Skhirat Agreement, intensified the internal strife rather than resolving it.

The conference concluded an agreement on amending the 8th article of the 2015 agreement that outline the authorities of the Libyan army chief commander.

The article constituted a major obstacle during signing Skhirat agreement as it included the exclusion of General Khalifa Haftar from leading the army.

The conference meetings were brokered under the auspices of the Egypt’s General Intelligence Directorate and in a hotel related to the security entity.

The two-day conference was attended by Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry and Army Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazi along with a range of Libyan representatives without the invitation or the attendance of any representative from the Islamic currents.

In this context, some parties in western Libya accused the conference of including only one stream in the Libyan crisis and that it didn’t include the other influential parties in the western area, especially the security council of Misrata city and the Islamic currents.

The conference concluded what the participants consider as “a road map to achieve unity in Libya during the coming period, “and one of the major recommendations presented by the participants, “to reconsider the responsibilities of the army chief commander that is currently held by Aqila Saleh, the head of Tobruk’s House of Representatives (HoR), who has promoted General Khalifa Haftar to Field Marshal last September.

In the same context, a Libyan high ranking military delegation reportedly arrived in Cairo on December 19 in a visit that lasted for several days.

The delegation, which arrived in a private jet from Libya, was headed by Libyan Defense Ministry’s Counselor Mohamed Abu al-Kassem Saleh, and mostly discussed the amendment of the Skhirat agreement, as was seen by many observers.

The Libyan delegation met with a number of top officials and figures in Egypt to discuss enhancing the cooperation ties, and the developments on the Libyan arena.

In the same context, a bilateral meeting was headed by Hegazi and some members from Tobruk’s parliament and Libyan intellectuals to resolve the Libyan crisis on December 21.

Moreover, Aqila Saleh, the president of the House of Representatives (HoR), has again been holding talks with top Egyptian officials on the Libyan crisis.

Saleh met with Egypt’s Chief-of-Staff, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazi, as well as Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and other officials.

According to the official Facebook page of Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Saleh issued with high rank diplomatic and military officials the current situation and the recent developments on the Libyan arena.

In addition to the exerted efforts to reach a compromise based on the Political Agreement (PA)as general framework to reach a political resolution in Libya in the light of the outcomes that resulted from Cairo Conference.

Moreover, Hegazi met carried out several meetings with many Libyan political and military representatives in order to achieve a solution in January.

Hegazi  also met with the head of the UN special mission to Libya, Martin Kobler where they discussed the results of the meetings held in Cairo with the Libyan political factions.

At that time the armed forces’ official spokesperson issued a statement saying that attendees of the meeting included members of a committee of the Egyptian army that is assigned to supervise and discuss the situation in Libya.

Moreover, Egypt’s chief-of-staff has mediated to hold a peace deal between Presidency Council Chairman Fayez al-Serraj and General Khalifa Haftar last February,but his efforts went in ruins after Haftar refused to meet al-Serraj.

Haftar is a military figure, backed by Tobruk government based in eastern Libya that refuses to recognize the U.N.-backed government, enjoys the support of several Arab nations, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan, as well as western countries as France.

Since the Libyan Revolution that overthrew the long-time dictator 2011 Muammar Gaddafi, violence has spread in Libya among the different Libyan factions.

Two rival governments operate in Libya, with self-proclaimed authorities controlling the capital of Tripoli and adjacent western areas and an internationally recognized government, based in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk.

Moreover, a third government was formed known as the Government of National Accord(GNA) supported by many western countries. The government has so far failed to restore the country’s unity.

None of the governments has a complete dominance over Libya until now.