Emergency Tunisia summit aims to organise Serraj-Hafter meeting

By Jamie Prentis.

Tunis, 20 February 2017:

At the end of two days of talks on Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria have unveiled a fresh initiative to further political reconciliation in the country, but say any solution must be based on the December 2015 Skhirat agreement.

The move follows the failure of Egyptian-hosted attempts at a meeting between Presidency Council head Faiez Serraj and the eastern military supremo Khalifa Hafter. The three countries hope to organise a successful meeting between the pair.

The ‘Tunis Declaration’, signed by Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, Algerian Minister for Maghreb, African and Arab Affairs Abdelkader Messahel and Tunisian foreign minister Khemaies Jhinaoui, also rejected foreign intervention or the use of force in finding a resolution and called for a unified Libyan military operating alongside the country’s various state institutions.

At a press conference in Tunis today, the three said their countries would “step up efforts to achieve comprehensive reconciliation.” However, they added, ultimately “a viable settlement can only be achieved by the Libyan people themselves.”

They also announced Algiers would host a further tripartite summit to further explore remedies to the crisis in Libya. No date was given.

Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebi joined the deliberations for part of them.

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