By Sami Zaptia.
London, 9 July 2019:
The Tripoli breakaway bloc of House of Representatives (HoR) members have refused an invitation to attend a joint meeting with the rest of the Tobruk-based members by Egypt in Cairo.
The meeting of the whole HoR in Cairo was billed as being a consultative meeting.
The invitation was communicated to the Tripoli bloc through Egypt’s ambassador to Libya, Tripoli HoR members reported.
The Tripoli HoR bloc said they had refused the Egyptian invitation for three reasons.
First, the agenda and aim of the Cairo meeting were thought to be unclear.
Secondly, most Tripoli HoR members felt Egypt was partisan and could not be a neutral facilitator.
Finally, some HoR members did not like the political implication of the Egyptian ambassador contacting them directly. They insisted that Egypt recognizes and respects Libya’s internationally-recognized executive – the Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council and Government of National Accord.
They wanted the invitation to be transmitted to them through Libya’s Tripoli Foreign Ministry.
It will be recalled that Egypt is the main backer of Libya’s eastern administration: the Abdulla Thinni Interim Government, the HoR and the Hafter-led Libyan National Army (LNA). Together with the UAE and Saudi Arabia they are commonly perceived as the backers of Hafter’s war on Tripoli launched on 4 April.