By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 2 February 2015:
The UN-brokered talks that began last year in Ghadames and reconvened last month in Geneva seem . . .[restrict]set to resume in Libya, possibly within days.
Bernardino Leon head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya this evening said he had held a “significant” meeting with the old GNC in Tripoli. In a brief statement he said negotiations would continue in Libya. However, citing logistical and security grounds, he declined to say when or where in Libya the peace dialogue would resume.
He did say that the resumption of the national dialogue came at “a significant and decisive time to end the conflict in Libya and restore the political process on sound foundations”.
Leon stressed that the core decision needed to be on a government of “national unity, consensus and stability”, along with a ceasefire and security arrangements. He accepted that there was also a need to resolve the effect of the Supreme Court’s decision that the GNC had disobeyed its own rules when passing the enabling legislation for the elections to the House of Representatives. However, he maintained that the larger concern had to be the continuing fighting and bloodshed.
He said that the dialogue will include representatives of conflicting parties, tribes and municipalities.
Leon arrived at the GNC meeting with Italian ambassador Giuseppe Maria Buccino Grimaldi. Besides former congressmen, Leon talked to the erstwhile GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmain. The two had last met in mid-January in Ankara when Abu Sahmain had been visiting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The GNC had refused to take part in the Geneva talks, demanding that they be held in Libya. However Misrata, the key military member of the Libya Dawn force, defied the GNC-appointed anti-government of Omar Al-Hassi and sent their own representatives to Geneva.
Today’s meeting drew criticism from House of Representatives spokesman Faraj Buhashem. He went on TV to denounce the UNSMIL chief’s encounter with Abu Sahmain. Buhashem’s main objection appeared to be that Leon had again referred to Abu Sahmain as “president”.