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Libya’s eastern parliament votes against involvement in dialogue

Fayez Al-Sarraj, head of Libya’s national unity government.
Fayez Al-Sarraj, head of Libya’s National Unity Government [File photo]

The House of Representatives (HoR) in the east of Libya yesterday voted to suspend its involvement in the Libya Dialogue process.

The HoR also voted to reject part one of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) which names the members of the Presidency Council (PC). By doing so, the HoR will no longer recognise any member of the Presidency Council.

Image of Libyan politician Ahmed Maiteeq [US Department of State /Wikipedia]

Image of Libyan politician Ahmed Maiteeq [US Department of State /Wikipedia]

Head of the PC Fayez Al-Sarraj, and its members Ahmed Maiteeq, Abdelsalam Kajman, Mohamed Al-Amari and Ahmed Hamza – all based in Tripoli – are likely to ignore the HoR’s move.

The decision comes as Libya’s rival power bodies are moving closer to open conflict with militia groups.

“The GNA unity government is not legitimate any more, as well as its presidential council and anything to do with this entity”

Abdullah Ablaihig, spokesman for the HoR said, urging the international community to lift an embargo on weapons sales to the Libyan army under military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

The vote comes after several days of indecision over the appointment of a 15-member team to negotiate amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement.

However, following Friday’s attack on the Oil Crescent terminals by the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB), opposition to the dialogue process has intensified.

The Tobruk body called on all Libyan parties to condemn militias that occupied the two key terminals in what it described as “terrorist attacks”, saying it was suspending its participation in peace talks until they did so.

The militias, who oppose the parliament, say they intend to take the eastern city of Benghazi and drive Haftar from the area.

Opposition

  • Essa Al-Aribi, head of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • Idris Al-Magharbi, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Ramadan Shambesh, head of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee

The HoR had been under public pressure in the east of the country to make its stance on the dialogue team clearer following anger at the takeover of the Oil Crescent.

Those based in Cyrenaica have recently rallied for greater defence of the region following an increase in threats.

A gathering of eastern tribes hosted by the Al-Wagir tribe is due to take place this week in Benghazi and is expected to also reject the dialogue.

Western ambassadors have condemned the escalation of violence and called for an immediate ceasefire. Egypt yesterday condemned the oil terminal seizure saying that “elements linked to Al-Qaeda” were involved in the attack that it said posed “serious risks” for Libya.

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