Libya talks in Cairo achieve 'great progress' with consensus on 'most constitutional articles': Egyptian official

Ahram Online , Monday 20 Jun 2022

The Libyan Constitutional Track Committee, which comprises rival Libyan officials, has made "great progress" in the latest round of UN talks held in Cairo, an Egyptian official said, adding that the Libyan parties have "reached consensus on most of the articles" in the Libyan constitution draft.

 Ahmed Hafez
Egypt s Foreign Ministry new spokesman Ahmed Hafez (Photo: Courtesy of Egypt s Foreign Ministry)


Cairo hosted the third round of UN-mediated talks on 12-20 June, bringing together lawmakers from Libya's east-based parliament and the High Council of State, an advisory body from western Libya.

Ahmed Hafez, spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement on Monday that Egypt welcomes the outcomes of the round and hopes the committee will continue its efforts to "finalise the limited remaining articles as soon as possible."

The round was a new bid to end the split between the eastern and western camps over the constitutional and legislative framework for holding the long-awaited presidential and parliamentary elections.

However, the UN special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, said on Monday the round concluded "without a breakthrough."

Libya's presidential elections were due to be held in December 2021, but wete adjourned over differences between rival factions on laws governing the elections and the eligibility of presidential candidates.

The latest Cairo talks sought to establish a constitutional framework for elections in Libya, but the two sides failed to agree on "the measures governing the transitional period" leading to the vote, Williams said in a statement reported by AP.

Williams called on both sides to convene within 10 days to try and bridge the gaps between the two sides.

Cairo, meanwhile, is also hosting the meetings of the Libyan 5+5 military commission, which kicked off on Wednesday. The meetings aim at settling the Libyan crisis and restoring the unity of the Libyan military institution.

The oil-rich country has been wrecked by conflict since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and murdered longtime president Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country has for years been split between rival administrations in the east and west, each supported by different militias and foreign governments.

The 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC), which comprises five military officials from the eastern and western sides of the Libyan conflict, was one of three tracks in the settlement process that emerged from the Berlin Conference on Libya in mid-January 2020.

The new round of talks of the JMC looks at efforts to unify the Libyan military institution and shore up the ceasefire across the country. It also discusses means of the simultaneous and unconditional withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libyan territory.

The meetings come days after clashes erupted last week in Tripoli between rival militias, leaving at least one person dead and causing significant material damage, according to AFP.

Authorities in Tripoli said an investigation has been opened into the incident, which has raised fears of reviving violence in the conflict-torn country.

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