Libya parliament chief doubts UN deal

Libyan parliamentarians are due in the Moroccan resort of Skhirat on Thursday to sign the deal in a ceremony

Libya parliament chief doubts UN deal

World Bulletin / News Desk

The president of the Libyan parliament that is not recognised by the international community said Wednesday that lawmakers preparing to sign a UN-sponsored unity government agreement in Morocco had no legitimacy.

Four years after the fall of dictator Moamer Kadhafi, world powers have been pressuring the North African nation's two rival administrations to form a unity government amid concerns about the rise of the ISIL group there.

Libyan parliamentarians are due in the Moroccan resort of Skhirat on Thursday to sign the deal in a ceremony a Moroccan diplomat said would take place at 1100 GMT.

But Nouri Abusahmein, who heads the General National Congress in Tripoli, said the signatories would have no legitimacy.

"Whoever has not been commissioned by the GNC to sign or initial a deal on its behalf is, and will remain, without legitimacy," he said before the GNC in the capital.

A government such as that proposed by the United Nations "is not the subject of consensus and does not even guarantee the minimum required to ensure its effectiveness", he added.

Martin Kobler, the UN envoy to Libya, said the Moroccan ceremony would proceed as planned.

"A large number of Libyan participants and high-level international participants, including many foreign ministers, have committed to attend," Kobler said in a statement.

On Tuesday in Malta, Abusahmein met Aguila Saleh who heads the internationally recognised parliament based in Tobruk in the east near the border with Egypt.

It was the first time they had met since the rival administrations were formed in 2014.

At a joint news conference, both men said that those who sign the agreement represent only themselves.

- UN 'takes note' -

They said Thursday's signatories, although members of the respective parliaments, would not be acting as official representatives of those bodies.

"I take note of the meeting" between the two men in Malta, Kobler's statement said.

"The United Nations encourages all Libyan efforts to end the current divisions through inclusive dialogue, and I will continue to actively engage with all Libyans to that end," he added.

At the beginning of October in Skhirat, delegations from both sides approved a draft agreement negotiated under the auspices of the UN, but it was later rejected by their parliaments.

Abusahmein and those MPs who support him are not against an agreement, but say they want more time to negotiate it.

On December 6, members of the two bodies launched an alternative process in Tunis by signing a "declaration of interest" on a unity government, and this process is backed by the two parliament heads.

Abusahmein told AFP Wednesday he hoped a new government would see the light of day, via these inter-Libyan talks, "between now and December 24".

The country has been mired in chaos since the 2011 overthrow and killing of long-time dictator Kadhafi.

ISIL has exploited the lawlessness to expand their presence there.

Also on Wednesday, Kobler met the recognised government's controversial army chief General Khalifa Haftar east of Benghazi, a military source said.

Nothing about what they discussed was disclosed.

Haftar opposes Thursday's deal because it stipulates that if the rival administrations fail to agree on a head of the army within 10 days, the current holder will be removed and someone else appointed.

Many GNC members are against Haftar as army chief.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Aralık 2015, 11:44