On Wednesday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi renewed his country’s firm stance to support a political solution to the Libyan crisis, far from foreign interference, during an unannounced meeting with the speaker of the internationally recognized Libyan Parliament, Aguila Saleh, and the commander of the Libyan National Army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, in Cairo.
Al-Sisi affirmed Egypt’s support for the path of a political solution to the Libyan crisis, away from foreign interference, and its welcome of any positive steps that lead to calm and the construction and development of peace.
The meeting was devoted to discussing recent developments in Libya and relevant international interactions, and the efforts of all parties to implement a ceasefire and stabilize the situation on the ground, in addition to Libyan efforts to advance the peace process under the auspices of the United Nations.
Al-Sisi called on all parties to engage positively in the paths to solve the Libyan crisis emanating from the Berlin Summit under the auspices of the United Nations (political, economic, military and security) and the Cairo Declaration, leading to the presidential and parliamentary elections that will allow the Libyan people to achieve stability, prosperity and development.
The Egyptian President welcomed the tangible positive engagement of all parties, whether in eastern or western Libya, with the mechanisms for resolving the crisis, calling on all Libyan parties to unify their positions to get out of the current crisis and uphold the nation’s interest above all considerations.
The Egyptian government, which supports Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, is trying to save the Cairo Declaration, which Saleh adopted, by opening up to the leaders of the western region, especially from the city of Misrata, which has a military force in support of the Government of National Accord in Tripoli.
The two Libyan officials expressed the importance of the pivotal Egyptian role in stabilizing the foundations of peace, achieving stability in Libya, preserving the capabilities of the Libyan people and working to activate their will, as well as Egypt’s support for the efforts of the Libyan institutions in combating terrorism and extremist groups and relaunching the political process with the participation of regional and international forces concerned with the Libyan issue.
Observers believe that the Egyptian initiative is the same as that announced by Aqila Saleh, and aims at “cease fire and obliging foreign parties to remove mercenaries, dismantle militias and hand over their weapons, in addition to completing the 5 + 5 military committee course in Geneva.”
This initiative also aims to ensure fair representation of all three regions of Libya, in a presidential council elected by the people under the supervision of the United Nations, for the first time in the country’s history.
The visit of the Speaker of Parliament and the army chief to Egypt comes three days before the start of a second round of negotiations between the Libyan factions in Morocco, where “the members of the dialogue committee will discuss, during the negotiations, mechanisms for selecting who will assume the sovereign positions.”
Observers believe that the members of the dialogue committee have overcome, in their previous sessions, most of the difficulties that may hinder negotiations, and it is very likely that a new presidential council will be chosen in the coming days, which will consist of a president, two deputies, and a separate prime minister.
Others believe that it is easy for Islamists to nominate personalities loyal to them in the legislative elections and present them to the voter as independent personalities, which is almost the same plan that was adopted in the 2012 General National Congress elections.
The head of the Libyan Elections Commission, Imad al-Sayeh, previously denounced in local media statements in early September, the Government of National Accord, which is controlled by Islamists, was obstructing the conduct of the referendum on the constitution, the main step for holding the presidential elections, pointing out that the government refused to provide a budget for the referendum.
Since the signing of the Skhirat Agreement, the proposal to hold elections has been repeated more than once, and it is a proposal that the Islamists do not openly reject, but rather, create obstacles that prevent them from taking place, especially obstructing the referendum on the constitution.
The head of the reconciliation government, Fayez Al-Sarraj, announced last Thursday that he would resign and hand over his duties to the next executive authority, no later than the end of next October, provided that the dialogue committee has completed its work.
For years, the oil-rich country has been suffering from an armed struggle over legitimacy and power, which has resulted in deaths and injuries among civilians, as well as massive material damage.
There has been a ceasefire in Libya since August 21.