Libya: Cairo Pushes to Blow up Hedge between Factions

Egypt has convened Libyan factions involved in the political process in the oil-rich North African country, asking them to establish modern democratic state and end polarization.

Egypt’s Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy, who heads the Egyptian committee mediating the Libyan crisis, this week held three-day talks with Libyan delegations from the cities of Misrata and Barca, Egyptian media Al Ahram reports.

The army commander reportedly urged the delegations to put aside their rivalries.

The delegations, according to Egyptian accounts, agreed on “certain points during the talks, including the unity of Libya, restoring the Libyan state, rejecting foreign intervention in Libyan affairs, establishing a modern democratic state, ending polarisation in the media, and fighting terrorism.”

Cairo has been trying to broker peace between Libya’s opposed factions.

The oil-rich country has had two different governments; UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and Beida-based government supported by the internationally recognized parliament, the House of Representatives (HoR), and its ally, the Libyan National Army led by Cairo-backed Khalifa Haftar.

Misrata, seat of powerful military coalition named al-Bunyan al-Marsus, is opposed to Haftar and supports the GNA.

In February, an Egyptian attempt to bring together Haftar and GNA head Faiez Serraj failed. The Libyan commander refused to meet the nominal Prime Minister in Cairo. However, a meeting gathering the two men was held on July 25 in France at the initiative of President François Macron.

The political rivals then agreed to set aside their contentions and make way for peace, endorsing the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Skhirat, Morocco, in December 2015, as the only political roadmap for the country’s reconstruction, after the six-year long chaos that followed the removal of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed revolution.

 

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