By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 8 November 2017:
Presidency Council head Faiez Serraj arrived in the Omani capital Muscat this evening at the start of a two-day visit to the sultanate.
Met by Oman’s acting foreign minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Serraj is accompanied by his foreign minister Mohamed Siala as well as various other senior officials. It is his first official to Oman.
The sultanate has been involved in various efforts to help resolve the crisis in Libya. In June last year, it invited House of Representatives (HoR) president Ageela Saleh and a delegation of HoR members to visit and discuss the problems preventing a Libyan settlement. Three months before that, members of the Constitution Drafting Assembly were invited to use it as a neutral base to discuss their draft proposals.
Additionally Oman gave political asylum in late 2012 to Qaddafi’s widow Safia and three of his children – daughter Aisha and sons Mohammed and Hannibal – after they had to leave Algeria.
There are historic ties between Libya and Oman. Ibadi Islam, which is followed by much of the Amazigh community in western Libya, is the official form of Islam in Oman. When Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said became ruler in 1970 following the coup overthrowing his father, Amazigh Libyan officials who had fled to the country after Qaddafi’s takeover were among his principle advisers.