Tunisia – A tripartite meeting that included the foreign ministers of Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria was held on Sunday in Tunisia with the aim of finding a solution to the Libyan crisis.
Tunisian sources reported that the meeting discussed the possible political role of Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by several regional parties, and the involvement of Islamist forces supported by Nahda movement.
The meeting also tackled developments in the Libyan crisis, in addition to coordinating efforts to find solutions among Libya’s three neighboring countries. The ministers also discussed the outcomes of the meeting held recently in Cairo among Libyan rival parties.
Originally planned for March 1, the meeting of the three ministers, Tunisia’s Khemaies Jihnaoui, Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry and Algeria’s Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and Arab League Abdelkader Messahel was supposed to pave the way for a summit between their countries’ presidents.
Tunisia decided to hold the meeting sooner following last week’s failed mediation talks in Cairo between Hafter and Presidency Council head Fayez Serraj.
Earlier, Tunisian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it hopes the meeting can lay the foundations of a consensual political solution to the crisis and create the appropriate conditions to bring Libyan parties to the dialogue table.
The ministry explained that Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi will meet with the ministers on Monday, and the three officials will present the outcome of their meeting to him.
Tunisian FM said Essebsi’s initiative has four goals: help reconcile Libya’s various political factions in order to pave the way for a consensual political agreement, dismiss a military solution, eliminate all differences concerning Sukhayrat agreement signed in 2015, and support the United Nation’s role in any political solution.
Algeria’s foreign ministry commented: “Algeria has made huge efforts, at the request of the Libyan parties, to help in bridging the gap between them and find solutions to the conflict.”
Diplomatic sources expect the talks to focus on possible amendments of Sukhayrat agreement, especially the future role of Haftar. That is in case the Morocco-signed deal doesn’t include any role for the general whose troops control most of east Libya and major oil ports since September.