Libyan ri­vals agree to hold 2nd round of talks in Egypt af­ter pos­i­tive 1st round

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Politics -

THE LIBYAN High Coun­cil of State and the To­bruk-based putschist Gen. Khal­ifa Haf­tar House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives del­e­ga­tions have de­cided to con­tinue to hold U.N.-led con­sti­tu­tional talks in the Egyp­tian cap­i­tal Cairo, re­ports said yes­ter­day.

The first round of the U.N.-led talks, which started on Oct. 11 ended late Tues­day, Anadolu Agency (AA) said, adding that the two sides are cur­rently dis­cussing whether they can hold a ref­er­en­dum on the cur­rent draft of the con­sti­tu­tion.

They also reached a con­sen­sus about the ne­ces­sity to fi­nal­ize the tran­si­tion pe­riod.

Top Egyp­tian spy chief Ab­bas Kamil had told the two sides to leave dis­agree­ments aside.

The two sides had also held meet­ings in Mor­rocco in Septem­ber.

Last week, the U.N. Sup­port Mis­sion in Libya (UNSMIL) said it ap­pre­ci­ated the ef­forts of both del­e­ga­tions and wel­comes the out­comes reached dur­ing the dis­cus­sion.

The talks be­tween rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized Gov­ern­ment of Na­tional Ac­cord (GNA) and Haf­tar’s forces fo­cused on “press­ing se­cu­rity and mil­i­tary is­sues,” the U.N. said.

They ad­dressed “se­cu­rity ar­range­ments in an area to be de­fined at a later stage,” while ad­dress­ing tasks and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Petroleum Fa­cil­i­ties Guard, the U.N. mis­sion added.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the two sides agreed to put a se­ries of rec­om­men­da­tions to the 5+5 Joint Mil­i­tary Com­mit­tee (JMC), a fo­rum bring­ing to­gether five rep­re­sen­ta­tives from each side.

These rec­om­men­da­tions in­clude re­sum­ing “face-to-face meet­ings”, the re­lease of in­di­vid­u­als de­tained in mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions and fur­ther dis­cus­sion of the role of the Petroleum Fa­cil­i­ties Guard (PFG).

Pro-Haf­tar groups sup­ported by the PFG block­aded key oil­fields and ex­port ter­mi­nals from Jan­uary to de­mand what they called a fair share of hy­dro­car­bon rev­enues. Libya has Africa’s largest oil re­serves.

The two sides an­nounced separately in Au­gust that they would cease all hos­til­i­ties and hold na­tion­wide elec­tions be­fore del­e­gates met in Morocco in the first week of Septem­ber for talks.

In the Libyan con­flict, the GNA is mainly sup­ported by Turkey and Qatar, while Haf­tar forces have the back­ing of Rus­sia, France, Egypt and the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE).

The GNA in June turned back a 14-month as­sault on the cap­i­tal Tripoli by the east­ern-based Haf­tar forces, and the two are now dug in along a front line near Sirte.

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