By Libya Herald staff.
23 December 2014:
It is reported that UN Special Envoy Bernardino Leon and the President of the House of . . .[restrict]Representatives (HoR), Ageela Salah Gwaider, agreed yesterday that the talks in the second stage of dialogue between the various factions in the Libya crisis should take place outside the country. Writing in his Facebook page, Benghazi HoR member Tariq Al-Geroushi – known to be very close to Gwaider as well as to those running Operation Dignity – also said that there was agreement between the two that the next round could take on 10 January.
Leon was in Tobruk yesterday in a bid to save the dialogue between the main parties in the Libya crisis from total collapse.
Despite the relative success of the first UN-brokered dialogue at the end of September between attending and boycotting members of the HoR in Ghadames, efforts to draw together individuals representing both the HoR and the Thinni government on one side and Libya Dawn and the Omar Al-Hassi “government” in Tripoli on the other have dragged on without success. As a result, the planned meeting between the two sides has been postponed twice with arguments over who should attend and where the talks take place. It was reported that there was agreement on Awjila near Jalu, but this appears to have broken down. Both sides are said to be opposed to meeting anywhere they consider controlled by the other.
There has been no official statement from either the HoR or UNSMIL about what was discussed at yesterday’s meeting. However, Geroushi, whose father heads Operation Dignity’s air force, has also said that it was agreed that the dialogue would include members of civil society organisation as well as the mayors of town and cities directly related to the crisis, such as Misrata and Zintan. It would also include representatives of the HoR, of which four have been chosen. Geroushi made no mention of the Tripoli-based General National Congress although Leon has already made it clear that it too would send representatives.
Geroushi did state, however, that it had been agreed that no militia commanders or “militants” would be invited.
The latter terminology may pose a problem because although Leon has declared that there will be no negotiations with Ansar Al-Sharia, many members of the HoR (Gwaider included) as well as the Thinni government, view Libya Dawn and its supporters as militants. The organisation has been labeled as “terrorists” by them.
Geroushi also indicated that the meeting did not go entirely smoothly and that Gwaider rejected a proposal from Leon that a government of national unity be appointed with members from both the Thinni administration and Hassi one in Tripoli.
Abdullah Al-Thinni was himself in Tobruk today for talks with Ageela on the latest developments with the UN. [/restrict]