By Michel Cousins,
Geneva, 18 January 2015:
Turkey has told Nuri Abu Sahmain, the president of the continuing General National Congress, who was . . .[restrict]in Turkey for talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on on Friday that the GNC must join the dialogue process in Geneva.
“Inclusiveness rather than legitimacy should be the main concern, and political dialogue should be supported,” said a Turkish official involved in policy towards Libya but who did not want to be identified.
“It is in this context that we underlined, during the GNC President’s visit, the importance of the dialogue and strongly recommended that GNC take its place in the process,” the official told the Libya Herald last night. “We also recommended that they support the idea of a national unity government. We are optimistic about the GNC’s meeting tomorrow.”
The GNC is supposed to meet today to decide whether or not to take up the invitation from the head of the United National Support Mission in Libya, Bernardino Leon.
The small group of members who make up the continuing GNC are under intense pressure from those who oppose taking part and those who support it.
“Inclusive political dialogue has become prerequisite for peaceful solution especially after the Supreme Court decision, the official added. “The ruling gave rise to political consequences. No one can turn a blind eye to legal realities which is also an issue of sovereignty. The UN’s latest initiative duly takes such developments into account. We’re in close contact and cooperation with UN,” the official stressed.
“We have talked with both sides at all times,” he also stated. “We’re still doing that. Messages we have been giving to each side in particular during [Turkey’s Special Represenative Emrullah] Isler’s visit are crystal clear: an immediate ceasefire; ending the airstrikes; political dialogue as the crisis is a political one; a national unity government; no way for foreign intervention. We continue giving these messages.”
Pro-Libya Dawn media in Tripoli have presented Abu Sahmain’s visit as resulting in Turkish support for the GNC and the Hassi regime. Mohamed Al-Amari, head of the Islamist Wafa bloc in the GNC and one of it members to be invited to Geneva, has been reported claiming that Erdogan told Abu Sahmain that Turkey recognised “the Supreme Court ruling on the dissolution of the House of Representatives” and it was considering reopening of its embassy in Tripoli”.
Turkey would reopen the embassy in Tripoli “as soon as the overall security conditions allow us to do so” and it did recognise the ruling had taken place, the official said. However, that was different to saying that Turkey was supporting the GNC and Hassi. Such views are “inaccurate or a misunderstanding” he stated.
“Actually”, he further added, “the President of the House of Representatives Ageela Salah Gwaider “had also accepted our invitation and he would have come to Ankara on 14 January had it not been for a problem in the composition of their delegation. We’ll offer another day.”
The regime in Tripoli has been increasingly desperate to convince itself and its supporters that the international community is moving in support of it. This month it claimed, wrongly, that a British military delegation had been to Tripoli and that an Italian business delegation was one from the Italian parliament and included the mayor of Rome. [/restrict]