Libyan unity government talks in Algiers end on high note

Talks aimed at forming unified Libyan assembly ended on high note in Algeria

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The second round of Libyan unity government talks came to a “constructive” and “positive” close in the Algerian capital of Algiers.

Stating that the talks set on forming a unified Libyan government ended in a “great success,” U.N. Special Envoy Bernardino Leon ended the diplomatic talks on a high note.

The talks began with wide support from the international community due to the emergence of ISIS militancy spawning from the lack of order in the country.

The U.S.State Department released a joint statement with the European powers urging delegates to reach an amicable agreement.

“We strongly urge all participants to the dialogue to negotiate in good faith and use this opportunity to finalize agreements on the formation of a National Unity Government and make arrangements for an unconditional ceasefire,” it said.

Leon said all delegations had “stressed that a comprehensive solution for the crisis in Libya can only be achieved through such dialogue.”

Libya is divided between two feuding parliamentary bodies, the central General National Council (GNC) and its rival House of Representatives (HoR).

“Participants reaffirmed their call to all parties to immediately halt armed hostilities and create a conducive environment for the Libyan dialogue.”

The talks ended productively as participating delegations decided to expedite later stages in the talks, include Libya’s minority tribes, address humanitarian concerns and condemn further violence in the country.

The talks resulted in cooperation leading to the creation of the overall framework for the “Draft Agreement on the Political Transition in Libya” in a move the U.N. defined as constructive and positive.

The delegates also tackled the question of how to handle the emerging humanitarian crisis in the country.

Opposing forces loyal to the HoR have been vying to gain control over the country and its institutions in a mobilization dubbed “Operation Dignity” which began in August.

Khalifa Haftar, the army head of the HoR launched “Operation Dignity” by besieging Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, where his “Libyan National Army” militia continues battling local forces allied with Tripoli.

The GNC loyal Dawn Alliance, entering the conflict after HoR forces attempted to force the closure of the assembly, aiming to unroot HoR loyal forces from Western Libya.

Neither group has been effectively able to gain full control of its area of operation nor establish its supremacy over the other as clashes erupted across the country.

Abdulrahman Swehli, the Chiefs of the Dawn Alliance’s biggest faction, the Misratan Brigades, told the New York Times in interviews Monday that they wished to reach a solution in the peace talks and that the conflict cannot be won through militarism.

“It will take some time, but it is possible to win the war, and the winner is going to be the winner.”
Stating that “some people are getting tired,” he added,“We are not as united as we once were.”

His words coincided with those of his political rival, Fathi Bashaagha, who heads Misrata’s political council.

“It is the realization that Libya is in danger,” said Bashaagha.

“Nobody can win. We have only one way we can survive, and that is a unity government.”

The unity government talks are set to resume Sunday in Morocco.

TRTWorld and agencies