By Jamal Jawhar
Libyans are looking forward to listen to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s plan, which he will propose before the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, to end the Libyan crisis.
Political parties reacted to the declaration of UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salameh on a “road map” presented by Guterres to the General Assembly, including the amendment of the Skhirat Agreement signed in Morocco in December 2015, in addition to carrying out wide elections with a number of necessary transitional stages.
Salameh’s road map also includes downsizing the current nine-member presidential council to just three and appointing a prime minister with the task of supervising a parallel government of the council, according to Italian newspaper La Stampa.
Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Authority of the National Forces Alliance in Libya Asma Sariba told Asharq Al-Awsat that the military operations in the country are not a solution to our problems, and “we believe that dialogue has become a necessity to end the Libyan crisis.”
“We, Libyans, take responsibility for the intervention of foreign countries in our crisis.”
“The Skhirat agreement faces many objections from the political forces due to the composition of the presidential council, and they are talking about Article (8) of the political agreement and believe they need to amend it”.
Other important developments
Libya Agreement changes to be unveiled by UN
Pressing amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) will be revealed at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today.
Presidency Council (PC) head Fayez Al-Sarraj will attend the meeting as the head of a 60-strong delegation from Libya.
Al-Sarraj will also attend planned meetings during his stay in New York after the main discussions with new UNSMIL chief Ghassan Salamé where the changes to the LPA will be formally unveiled.
The LPA was signed in Morocco in 2015 as a binding agreement to help end the fighting in Libya that spiralled out of control after the uprising against former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Some of the changes that are expected to be unveiled today include downsizing the PC from nine members to three and creating a separate government.
Salamé is also expected to propose removing the controversial clause 8 in the agreement which removes the power from the House of Representatives (HoR) to appoint top military commanders and heads of key institutions such as the Central Bank of Libya and the Libyan Investment Authority and instead places it at the hands of the Presidential Council (PC).
New elections for both the HoR and the PC will be a priority in moving forward but for Libyans the process will be observed with trepidation with fears a new body could create more divisions in the country.
Al-Sarraj and rival leader Khalifa Haftar met last in Paris two months ago in which they agreed to hold early elections in 2018, a truce and a newly formed army representative of all of Libya.
Egypt to restructure Libya’s army under Haftar’s command
Egypt yesterday announced the reorganisation of the Libyan National Army, which is affiliated to the Tobruk-based House of Representatives in the east of the country, under the command of Brigadier General Khalifa Haftar.
In a statement, Egyptian army spokesman, Tamer Al-Rifai, said Egyptian Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hijazi received a Libyan military delegation in Cairo.