UN unveils plan to break Libya’s political stalemate
Tunis- The United Nations has launched a road map for a renewed international effort to break a political stalemate in Libya.
Ghassan Salame, the United Nations’ Libya envoy, set out an “action plan” that would amend the Skhirat peace deal. He said drafting the plan would begin before a national conference is convened for key Libyan actors to join the political process.
Salame proposed reducing the UN-backed Government of National Accord’s Presidency Council to three members and having it nominate a new transitional government.
Changes to the 2015 deal would need the approval of Libya’s Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR). An HoR delegation was expected to begin negotiations with the Tripoli-based rival assembly. They are under pressure to reach an agreement before December 17, when opponents of the Skhirat deal say it expires.
Salame must balance calls for elections with the need to prepare a legal framework in which a vote can take place. Elections would require an electoral law, and possibly a referendum, to endorse a new constitution.
France, Britain and Italy said they are fully on board with Salame’s plans.
There has been a flurry of disjointed but intense diplomatic activity in Libya in the past months. Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al- Sarraj and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who heads the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the east, met in July in Paris.
A meeting in early September between the African Union, Sarraj, HoR President Aguila Saleh Issa and Chairman of the High State Council Abdulrahman Asswehly convened in Brazzaville.
Less than a week later, London hosted a six-party ministerial meeting with foreign ministers of Britain, France, Italy and the United Arab Emirates and the US secretary of state attending.
Attempts to resolve the Libyan crisis come amid intense European efforts to stem illegal migration and strong competition over involvement in Libya’s reconstruction process. There is a growing fear in neighbouring countries of a spillover effect, with experts warning that the Islamic State may regroup in Libya after facing major losses in Iraq and Syria.