The Algerian, Egyptian and Tunisian foreign ministries today agreed on the terms for resolving the crisis in neighbouring Libya.
Foreign ministers Khemaies Jhinaoui of Tunisia, Egyptian Sameh Shoukry, and Algerian Minister for Maghreb, African and Arab League Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, met in the Tunisia capital Tunis for two days of talks starting yesterday.
The talks ended with the signing of the "Tunis Declaration" which included five points:
- That the three signatories step up efforts to achieve comprehensive reconciliation in Libya through dialogue with all relevant parties and under the auspices of the UN.
- That the signatories recognise Libya's sovereignty and territorial integrity and believe that a political solution – based on the 17 December 2015 Skhirat agreement – represents the only way out of the country's political crisis.
- That the three signatories reject any military solution to – or external interference in – the Libya crisis, acknowledging that a viable settlement can only be achieved by the Libyan people themselves.
- They also called for ensuring the continuity of Libyan state institutions as was stipulated in the 2015 agreement. These institutions include the Presidential Council, the House of Representatives and the Supreme Council of State. Signatories to the declaration also called for the preservation and unification of the Libyan Armed Forces in accordance with the 2015 agreement.
- Signatories also called for convening a tripartite summit in Algiers devoted to the Libya crisis (for which no date was given) to be attended by Tunisian, Egyptian and Algerian representatives.
Libya has been wracked by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody uprising ended with the ouster and death of Muammar Gaddafi after 42 years in power. In the wake of the uprising, the country's stark political divisions yielded two rival seats of government, one in Tobruk and the other in capital Tripoli.
Al-Sarraj and Field Marshall Khalifa Hafter met for the first time in Cairo last week in an attempt to reach a political settlement. However efforts collapsed on the second day when Haftar refused to meet Al-Sarraj over disagreements to some points.