By Michel Cousins.
Tunis, 8 October 2016:
The full nine members of the Presidency Council currently meeting in Tunis to decide who should be in the Government of National Accord says that they want their next meeting to be in Libya.
A statement to that effect published on the Presidency Council’s Facebook page was confirmed today by PC member Musa Koni who said that it was unacceptable to decide on a government while outside Libya. He was forming a committee to decide where to go, he disclosed, and a decision would be reached by the end of the weekend.
He further stated that so far in Tunis the PC had not discussed the new cabinet composition. That would start after the decision had been reached on where to convene.
Any such decision is fraught with difficulty. The PC is meeting in the Gammarth suburb of the Tunisian capital because there are no locations in Libya that do not attract objections from one or other members of the PC.
Apart from logistical issues and security considerations which disbar most towns and cities, Ali Gatrani, close to Khalifa Hafter and a main voice of the east in the PC, refuses to go anywhere that he considers not under legitimate military control. That excludes not only Tripoli, but also places that others seen as sufficiently neutral, such as Nalut in the Jebel Nafusa.
He would be quite happy with Tobruk, Marj or Beida, but Misrata’s Ahmed Maetig has concerns for his personal safety in such places. Almost nowhere, other perhaps than Ghadames, Ghat or possibly Hun might meet all the PC members’ considerations.
In a separate statement, PC member Fathi Majbri,who with Gatrani is seen as the other voice of Cyrenaica, has said in an interview with the 218 TV channel this evening that the PC must work harder on the GNA proposal. It had to be small, efficient but had to fully representative of Libya’s regions.
Meanwhile today, PC members met with UN Special Envoy Martin Kobler who has been encouraging them to decide on a new government as soon as possible.