By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 7 September 2017:
Khalifa Hafter’s reported refusal to go to Saturday’s meeting of other Libyan political leaders in Brazzaville will have frustrated Congo-Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguesso who heads the African Union’s (AU) Libya committee.
Since the committee’s four-day mission to Libya in June, Nguesso has been trying to organise a meeting of all Libya’s leading players. This will be the third AU mini summit on Libya and reflects growing alarm in the Union at Libya’s enduring crisis.
Today, a Hafter aide is reported to have said that House of Representatives (HoR) president Ageela Saleh will be representing the interests of the east of the country. Saleh has actually already arrived in Brazzaville and may be hoping for advance consultations with Nguesso and the other AU committee members from Ethiopia, Mauritania, Niger and South Africa. It is expected that the meeting will also be attended by Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Sudan and Tunisia.
Presidency Council (PC) chief Faiez Serraj has said that he will be attending as, it is understood, will State Council head Abdulrahman Sewehli.
Hafter’s absence will be seen at odds with the spirit of the deal he struck last month with Serraj in Paris at the encounter brokered by French president Macron. That seemed to break new ground in that both men agreed on a ceasefire, early elections and the pivotal position of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA.
But more than a month on, with no obvious fresh political movement, three days ago Macron sent his foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to press Serraj and Hafter for progress.