By Sami Zaptia.
London, 1 January 2016:
UN SGSR and UNSMIL head Martin Kobler confirmed yesterday that House of Representative (HoR) president Ageela Salah has indeed now had a change of stance and has come on board in support of the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and Government of National Accord (GNA) signed in Morocco’s Skhirat on 17th December and backed by UNSC Resolution 2259 on 23rd December 2015.
‘‘Encouraged by the meeting with president Ageela (Salah) in Beida today (and) his acceptance of the LPA. Good way forward’’ tweeted Kobler on his official twitter account yesterday.
The tweeted confirmation comes after Kobler’s meeting with Ageela Salah in Beida yesterday together with UNSMIL’s Security Advisor Major General Paolo Serra.
It will be recalled that Ageela Salah and a minority of what is often referred to as federalist or pro-Hafter HoR members had opposed the Skhirat agreement.
Indeed, Salah went as far as to hold an unprecedented face-to-face meeting on 15th December with his arch-enemy Nuri Abu Sahmain in Malta in favour of an alternative ‘‘Libyan-Libyan’’ political agreement.
The GNC has announced such an alternative on 29th December. However, the weak proposal has not received the widespread support they had hoped and indeed has even been criticised from within the pro-GNC camp.
Ageela Salah’s opposition and political position became weak once his support base, the tribes and council leaders of the eastern region announced, be it conditional, their support for the Skhirat agreement in a meeting with him on 26th December. This came after Hafter had already given his support to Skhirat at his meeting in Marj with Kobler at an earlier meeting on 16th December.
Kobler also met with tribal elders and council leaders later the same day in Shahat during which they supported the Skhirat agreement in principle, but made a number of conditions.
On that meeting, Kobler tweeted, ”Excellent discussion with tribals, dignitaries and mayors of Cyrenaica in Shahat. I see a lot of goodwill to join the political agreement”.
The conditions set out by the Cyrenaican leadership were reported as: That the GNA does not change Khalifa Hafter as leader of the HoR supported the Libyan National Army (LNA), that the LNA remains as the only legitimate force, the rejection of armed irregular / illegitimate militias, the lifting of the UN arms embargo on the LNA, the fighting of terrorism, that the GNA is to be approved by the HoR and that there is no imposition by outsiders on the will and sovereignty of Libya
Eastern -based LANA official state agency stated that Kobler was met with demonstrators in opposition of the Skhirat agreement upon his exit from his meeting with Salah.
Kobler further tweeted: ”Convinced that Libyan people in overwhelming majority support the way of peace with the new government. They r tired and want a decent life”. [/restrict]