By Sami Zaptia.
London, 3 July 2020:
The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres held phone calls on Wednesday (1 July) with both Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister-designate, Faiez Serraj, and commander of the mainly eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Hafter.
Libya observers are keenly watching and speculating on the status of Hafter after his military setbacks in western Libya. There has been speculation as to whether Hafter will be spurned or downgraded by the international community and no longer be seen as the representative of eastern Libya.
There has been speculation whether one of the other leading LNA commanders could be ‘‘chosen’’ by the international community to become the new interlocutor.
This speculation was increased when observers felt that Egyptian president Sisi gave Hafter an equal footing as Libya’s House of Representative head, Ageela Saleh, during the launch of Sisi’s Libya peace initiative on 6 June.
Here is the UN’s official readout of the two phone calls:
01 July 2020
Readout of the Secretary-General’s phone call with H.E. Mr. Faiez Mustafa Serraj, Prime Minister of the State of Libya
The Secretary-General spoke by telephone today with H.E. Mr. Faiez Mustafa Serraj, Prime Minister of the State of Libya about the situation in Libya.
The Prime Minister indicated his commitment to a dialogue within the 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission and expressed his interest in a political solution based on elections.
The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister also discussed the need to reopen blocked oil terminals and oil fields in the country.
The Secretary-General expressed his shock at the recent discovery of mass graves in Libya and stated that the United Nations was ready to assist in efforts to ensure accountability.
The Secretary-General reiterated the support of the United Nations to the Government of Libya in its efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
01 July 2020
Readout of the Secretary-General’s phone call with Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, Commander of the Libyan National Army
The Secretary-General received today a telephone call from Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, Commander of the Libyan National Army. They discussed current developments in Libya.
The Secretary-General reiterated that there was no military solution to the conflict in Libya. The solution can only be political, and Libyan-owned and Libyan-led. The Secretary-General reaffirmed the full commitment of the United Nations to dialogue within the 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission.
The Secretary-General expressed his shock at the recent discovery of mass graves and stressed the need for full respect of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
The Secretary-General indicated his commitment to help find a solution for the reopening of blocked oil terminals and oil fields in the country.
Cairo Libya peace initiative seen as attempt to keep Hafter and Saleh relevant – so far ignored by Tripoli