By Libya Herald team.
Tripoli/Tunis. 31 July 2017:
In further attempts at political reconciliation between Misrata and the east of the country, a top-level Misratan delegation arrived in Cairo today for meetings with Egyptian mediators led by the Egyptian chief of staff Mahmoud Hijazi and foreign minister Sameh Shukri. Formal talks are due to start tomorrow, Tuesday.
Hijazi is in charge of his country’s brief on Libya,
The 28-man Misratan delegation which comprises mayor Mohamed Eshtewi and most of the city’s members of both the House of Representatives and the State Council, including Mohamed Raeid, Fathi Bushagha and Belgassem Gzeit, had a brief meeting with Hijazi today and asked him to “exert Egyptian pressure” on eastern Libyan authorities so that dialogue could succeed.
In Cairo the Misratan delegation is supposed to meet with a large group of elders and leaders from the eastern region to work on points of disagreement between the two sides. However, it is reported that there is reluctance on the part of the latter to do so. They say that they went to Cairo to talk to the Egyptians, not to the Misratans. If there were to be talks with the latter, they should take place on another occasion and in Benghazi. Only there, they say can there be talks about reconciliation.
This is the second time Misratan officials have gone to Cairo as part of Egyptian-sponsored efforts to bring about direct talks between the two sides. Earlier this month, Cairo’s committee on Libya which Hijazi heads requested dignitaries from Misrata and the east to meet in the Egyptian capital to re-connect and reconcile their differences.
Meanwhile House of Representatives (HoR) president Ageela Saleh is also in Cairo, supposedly for short break, but yesterday had talks with Hijazi who has the Libya file for the Egyptian government. According to Fathi Marimi, Saleh’s personal spokesman, the meeting covered the latest Libyan developments including the proposal to have a presidency council consisting of a president and two deputies plus a separate prime minister. Saleh stressed the absolute necessity of quashing controversial supplementary Article 8 of the Libya Political Agreement and the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections by February next year.
For their part, Hijazi and his committee repeated their belief that the HoR was the legitimate legislative authority in Libya.
There are no plans for Saleh and the Misratans to meet.