By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 5 December 2015:
UN Special envoy Martin Kobler hald talks in Shihat today with the president of the . . .[restrict]House of representatives (HoR) Ageela Salah Gwaider.
According to the pro-HoR office of the Libyan news agency LANA, based in neighbouring town of Beida, Kobler told its reporter that the discussions were “very frank” (diplomatic language for “tough”), that the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Faiez Serraj would be announced “within days”, but that it would probably have to initially work somewhere other than Tripoli until security there could be assured.
LANA also reported that Kobler said he recognised the legitimacy of the HoR and that security had been one of the main issues in his talks with Salah Gwaider.
The HoR president, who opposes the UN-brokered Libya Dialogue agreement and the GNA, has been accused by international and UN figures including Kobler’s predecessor Bernardino Leon of deliberately preventing the HoR from meeting to approve the deal.
In what was widely seen as a “diplomatic absence”, he was not in Tobruk when Kobler was there for talks with the HoR a fortnight ago.
Kobler hopes that the HoR will now formally approve the deal. He was quoted in Shihat saying that he believed it would happen: “The train is moving quickly towards signing”.
A majority of HoR members are believed to back it and last month 92 of them signed a statement generally endorsing it.
Kobler’s plan, until now, has been that once that happens, Serraj would go briefly to Tripoli to proclaim it. He would then leave and over the next 30 days he and the other members of the presidency council would then chose the government ministers. The government would then start operating.
However, it is not clear where it would be based. Getting the deal approved was one thing, one of the western ambassadors involved in the Libya Dialogue process said today. “Making it work will be much harder.”
Meanwhile, it is reported from Beida that Kobler will be in Tobruk on Monday to attend a session of the HoR and that he will then travel, possibly in Wednesday, either to Benghazi or Marj. There he would meet General Khalifa Hafter, the head of the Libyan armed forces but also the bitter enemy of the Tripoli regime. [/restrict]