Cairo, New York – Ghassan Salame, the UN envoy for Libya, outlined an action plan of three phases to resolve the crisis in the country, during a high-level meeting on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.
He said the initiative would be led by Libyans to find a way out of the crisis that has split the nation among rival militias and governments.
“Six years ago, the Libyans were promised a transition phase. Today they are tired and want to get out of doubt,” Salame said at the beginning of the meeting.
In earlier remarks, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said: “The Libyans have long suffered; they deserve peace and to live in democracy and prosperity.”
Ten of the leaders of the countries directly or indirectly involved in the Libya file participated in the meeting, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.
Salame explained that the Skhirat agreement signed at the end of 2015 under the auspices of the United Nations, “remains the only possible framework”, before adding: “But there is broad consensus to amend it”.
“The action plan was not designed by me, but by the Libyans. They want an inclusive process, a way forward which clearly defines stages and objectives,” he stated.
Salame noted that the drafting of the plan would begin next week before the convening of a national conference for all key Libyan actors to join the political process.
Speaking about the first phase of the roadmap, Salame announced that a meeting would be held next week for the committee charged with amending the Skhirat agreement, in accordance with Article 12 of the political deal that established the internationally recognized national accord government in Tripoli.
The second phase of Salame’s plan is a national conference held under the auspices of the United Nations and which will bring together the “marginalized actors” of the Libyan scene in order to launch dialogue with armed groups with the aim of integrating their members into the political process.
The third phase, according to the roadmap, is to hold a referendum to adopt a new constitution within a year, which will pave the way to general presidential and parliamentary elections.
“I am also convinced that today there is an opportunity to end a protracted crisis that has caused immense suffering and contributed to the instability beyond Libya’s borders. We must all seize this moment,” Guterres said in an address to key stakeholders.