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Libyan National Dialogue in Tunis Discusses Executive Authority’s Structure, Powers | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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File photo of General Khalifa Haftar, commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA). Photo: Philippe Wojazer/Pool/AFP

Tunis – Cairo – The two delegations to the Libyan political dialogue, which is hosted by Tunisia under the supervision of UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame, discussed on Wednesday the structure of the executive authority and its powers, within a plan to amend the Skhirat political agreement.

The closed meeting gathered a delegation representing the Libyan Parliament and another representing the High Council of the State.

Dialogue sessions between the Libyan factions will be held until next Monday to allow the opportunity to listen to as many Libyan political leaders as possible.

Libyan political officials and tribal leaders continued to arrive in the Tunisian capital on Wednesday, to participate in the dialogue sessions, which bring together representatives of the Libyan parliament and the Council of State and which are aimed at amending the political agreement signed between the Libyan parties in the Moroccan city of Skhirat in 2015, under the auspices of the United Nations mission in Libya.

Well-informed Libyan sources told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the coming meetings would be reserved for the political leaders representing the dialogue committees, away from the media.

Intra-Libyan sessions would be followed by brief evening speeches, either by a Libyan representative or by the UN envoy.

Contrary to expectations, Wednesday’s round of talks did not tackle the issue of deleting Article 8 of the political agreement, which specifies the powers of the supreme commander of the Libyan armed forces.

Sultana al-Mesmari, member of Parliament’s delegation, said that the committee charged with amending the Skhirat agreement focused on discussing the powers and work mechanism of Libya’s Presidential Council.

She added that the meetings did not address Article 8 of the political agreement, “but was focused on issues that bear a higher degree of consensus”, noting: “Article 8 and the Supreme Commander’s authorities constitute the real point of disagreement.”

Meanwhile, the commander of the Libyan Armed Forces, Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, concluded his visit to Italy following a series of talks with a number of Italian political and security officials.

The visit resulted mainly in Italy’s call for Haftar to disarm and abandon military action against the UN-backed government, and to participate in the country’s political process.

Local sources said that Haftar “received an unambiguous message” during his meeting with Italian officials that he “must confront his political opponents and abandon military moves against the presidential council of the National Reconciliation Government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli”.