By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 2 August 2015:
The continuing General National Congress (GNC) claims that UN Special Envoy Bernardino Leon has agreed . . .[restrict]to amend the Dialogue Draft agreement approved last month in Skhirat. Until that happens, it says it will continue to boycott the UN-brokered Dialogue negotiations.
The GNC walked out of the Skhirat talks at the end of June over a number of items in the Draft.
Other delegates to the Dialogue, together with the House of Representatives, have insisted there can be no change to the text of the Draft, and in Algiers Leon told Abu Sahmain that the Draft as it stands was the only basis for solving Libya’s crisis.
Last night, following the return of GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmain from Algiers where he and his delegation had had talks with Leon over the boycott, deputy GNC president Saleh Makhzoum confirmed that the Tripoli parliament would not take part in the dialogue until the UN took on board its amendments. He, however, presented the meeting in Algeria as a GNC success claiming that Leon had agreed to change the Draft to take on board its views. Speaking on TV, accompanied by GNC members Abdurahman Sewehli and Mohammed Al-Amary, he said that one of these was the Draft had to be formally approved by the GNC as well as the HoR. At present under the draft, only the HoR is supposed to formally ratify it.
Al-Amary is reported saying that Leon had proposed using the annexes to the Draft, which still have to be formulated, to bring in GNC views, but Abu Sahmain and the rest of the GNC delegation in Algiers had refused this. There had to be a review of the Draft before the annexes could be discussed, he said. UNSMIL had accepted this, he declared.
Earlier Sewehli had said that one of the GNC conditions was that fresh elections take place to a new legislature.
Leon has said that he hopes the next Dialogue round will take place this week. It is supposed to come up with names of the new prime minister and two deputy prime ministers. They are then supposed to choose the government ministers. These will then form one of the annexes.
Sewehli, a Misrata member of the GNC who is also a boycotting member of the HoR and a major supporter of the Samoud Front set up by his equally hardline Misrata colleague Saleh Badi, was earlier proposed for sanctioning by the UN but this was vetoed by Russia and China because the proposal also included the head of a Zintan militia which supports the government in Beida. It is reported that the EU is also considering sanctions against Sewehli and others for being spoliers of the Dialogue process.
Today in Cairo, the US indicated that it too was considering action against him and others. “We are going to review a couple of possibilities and options over the course of the next days how we might get greater support to the UN initiative right now,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said following talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri. “We cannot allow one or two or three different spoiler groups who have not achieved all of their goals they had hoped to achieve though the conflict to destroy the entire process.” [/restrict]