GNA's Fayez Al-Sarraj to resign ahead of Libya's Geneva talks: Report

Bassem Aly , Tuesday 15 Sep 2020

According to sources, Al-Sarraj will stay on in a caretaker capacity through Geneva's negotiations next month

Fayez al-Sarraj AFP
Fayez al-Sarraj AFP

The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord's (GNA) Premier Fayez Al-Sarraj plans to resign—expectedly by the end of this week—ahead of October's inter-Libyan talks in Geneva, officials "familiar with his thinking" told Bloomberg on Tuesday.

However, the officials said that Al-Sarraj "will stay on in a caretaker capacity" through Geneva's negotiations, adding that he "would relieve some of the pressure on himself while setting the stage for his exit after the Geneva talks."

Al-Sarraj discussed his exit plans with Libyan and international actors and his aides, officials noted.

Libya has been divided between two authorities in Tripoli and Tobruk for six years. While the GNA is based in the capital Tripoli, Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) controls the east and is allied to the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.

The LNA is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), France and Russia, while the GNA is backed by Turkey, Qatar and thousands of Syrian mercenaries.

In 22 August, both parties to the conflict declared a ceasefire that ended fears about possible GNA aggression against the port city of Sirte, 230 miles (370 kilometres) east of the capital Tripoli, and Al-Jufra, which has a major military airbase.

Al-Sarraj announced on Facebook that he "issued instructions to all military forces to immediately cease fire and all combat operations in all Libyan territories."

Speaker of the east-based parliament Aguila Saleh also announced a ceasefire, which was welcomed by world leaders. Both sides agreed to hold elections in March 2021.

Negotiations in Geneva will follow those that took place in September in Morocco’s coastal town of Bouznika, south of the capital Rabat, in a bid to reach a political settlement.

In Bouznika, both parties agreed on the "criteria, transparent mechanisms and objectives" for key power positions.

After Morocco's talks, the UN's interim envoy to Libya Stephanie Williams called on the "international community to its responsibilities to support this process and to unequivocally respect the Libyan people's sovereign right to determine their future."

Protests erupted against the GNA in western Libya in late August when protesters gathered outside the GNA building to demonstrate against severe deterioration in social and economic conditions and corruption.

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