UN s Stephanie Williams delivers remarks at the opening of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in February 2021 near Geneva. AFP
This comes as representatives from Libya’s east-based parliament and the rival Tripoli-based High Council of State have concluded UN-sponsored meetings of the committee in Cairo, which started on Wednesday. The meetings aimed at reaching an agreement on holding the indefinitely-postponed national elections.
In February, the east-based parliament appointed Fathi Bashagha as prime minister-designate to replace Tripoli-based prime minister Abdul-Hamid Al-Dbeibah, who failed to hold the country’s anticipated presidential elections last December.
The east-based parliament’s decision has reignited differences between the east and west of the country as Al-Dbeibah, who was chosen as interim PM last year through UN-sponsored process and is still recognised by the High Council of State, has refused to leave office.
The parliament and High Council of State are both responsible for the constitutional path in the country and have to shoulder full responsibility to achieve a comprehensive solution to the crisis, Egyptian state news agency MENA cited UN Adviser on Libya Stephanie Williams as saying in a press conference on Monday.
She affirmed that a Libyan-Libyan solution to the crisis should be reached.
Libya’s Constitutional Committee has agreed during the Cairo meetings on continuing working to put a constitutional and legislative framework for holding presidential and parliamentary elections at the earliest opportunity, Williams said.
She added that the committee has agreed on resuming consultations after the vacation of Eid Al-Fitr, which falls this year early in May, adding that the UN will continue to build on the achievements made during the Cairo meetings.
Williams highlighted that it is necessary for the international community to unify efforts to support the aspirations of the Libyan people in having a democratic government that represents them. She also called for concerted international efforts to resolve the political crisis in Libya and achieve stability and safety in the Arab country.
Williams called for stopping negative foreign interference by some parties in the Libyan crisis. She added that joint international work requires coordinating with the Libyans on the political, economic, and security aspects.
The UN official voiced appreciation for the Egyptian government over hosting this round of the committee meetings and praised Cairo for backing UN efforts to achieve security and stability in Libya.
Egypt has been pushing for stability in its western neighbour. It hosted a meeting in October for Libya’s 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) to discuss plans to remove foreign mercenaries and troops from Libyan lands.
During the UN-sponsored meeting, the JMC agreed with representatives from neighbouring countries – Sudan, Chad, and Niger – to "fully" cooperate to ensure the exit of all foreign fighters belonging to their countries from Libyan territories.
Egypt has also hosted three meetings for Libya’s Constitutional Committee since September 2020 in the Red Sea city of Hurghada, the last of which was in February 2021, to discuss resolving the political crisis in the country and coordinate on key security issues.