By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 25 November 2016:
Faiez Serraj, the head of the Presidency Council, accompanied by its acting foreign minister Mohamed Taha Siala, have been attending the Arab-African summit in Equatorial Guinea’s capital of Malabo despite a pullout by eight Arab countries over the presence of the Western Sahara.
Morocco pulled out on Tuesday after the African Union (AU) insisted on the presence of the Polisario Front which says that it is the Western Sahara’s legitimate government. It was followed by the departure of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen and Somalia.
A number of other Arab countries including Libya remained, however. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi addressed the summit after the pullout, stating that Arab and African security were his countries’ priorities. However, with the gathering in disarray over the pullout, it is reported that the AU and Arab states will have separate emergency meetings to try and find a solution to the 40-year old dispute.
The invitation to Polsario is something of a snub to Morocco which had been planning to rejoin the AU. It pulled out in 1984 over the decision to admit the Polisario Friont by what was known then as the Organisation of African Unity.
While in Malabo, Serraj had talks with Chadian President and current AU chairman Idriss Deby who said that a five-member AU team would be in Libya early next month to try and mediate peace in the country.
Serraj also had talks with Algeria’s minister for Maghreb, Arab and African Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel.