By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 19 January 2017:
In what appears to be coordinated diplomacy by the east, Khalifa Hafter has again gone to Cairo while Ali Al-Gatrani, his ally on the Presidency Council, went to Malta today for talks with UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler and with the Maltese prime minister, Joseph Muscat.
Gatrani, who is boycotting the PC, flew in to Malta with a small party from the House of Representatives . He is reported to have pressed Kobler to support a return to the fourth draft of the Libyan Political Agreement. This would keep key appointments, including top military commanders, in the hands of parliament, rather than with the PC as now proposed.
Kobler later tweeted that there had been “lively” exchanges with Libyan politicians in Malta. He added that the LPA was nonetheless accepted as the only basis for discusssions.
However, Gatrani’s trip to Valetta was about more than talks with the UNSMIL chief. Malta has just taken over the EU presidency. Gatrani was also slated to meet Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca.
Muscat has already said that Malta intended to put the crisis in Libya on the European agenda during its six-month presidency.
Meanwhile Hafter arrived in Cairo tonight for talks on military conditions in areas under LNA control. Egypt officially still backs the PC and the Libyan Political Agreement and last week offered a cordial welcome to Faiez Serraj when he flew in to Cairo. However, it strongly backs the Libyan National Army’s drive against Islamist terrorists and is further concerned to maintain the stability of its long border with Libya. It is also trying to mediate dialogue between the rival factions in the country.