UN Libya envoy in Tripoli for government talks

2016-01-02 14:16
The UN envoy for Libya, Martin Kobler speaks during a press conference following a meeting with the members of Libya's General National Congress (GNC) on January 1 2016. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

The UN envoy for Libya, Martin Kobler speaks during a press conference following a meeting with the members of Libya's General National Congress (GNC) on January 1 2016. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - The UN's envoy for Libya held talks in Tripoli on Friday, seeking to encourage the administration there to commit to a national unity government that would end years of bloodshed.

Martin Kobler, on a desperate diplomatic push to get Libya's two separate administrations to sign a power-sharing agreement, met on Thursday with representatives of the internationally-recognised government near its headquarters in the east of the country.

"More discussions in Tripoli – I invite all to take responsibility for Libya's future, take responsibility for next generations," Kobler tweeted on Friday after meeting with the head of the rival parliament in Tripoli, Nouri Abusahmein.

Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 ouster of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi and now has two governments and parliaments.

Jihadist groups such as the Islamic State have taken advantage of the lawlessness to make gains along the coastline, and the UN estimates that fighting has forced 435 000 people from their homes.

On December 17, under UN guidance, envoys from both sides and a number of independent political figures signed a deal to unify the government.

Around 80 of 188 lawmakers from Libya's internationally recognised parliament and 50 of 136 members of the rival Tripoli-based General National Congress signed the deal.

It calls for a 17-member government, headed by businessman Fayez el-Sarraj as premier, based in Tripoli.

But analysts have cast doubt on the viability of a deal that would seek to bring together two parliaments controlled by hardliners.

Abusahmein asked Kobler to meet a number of leaders in the Tripoli-based administration, including senior military and intelligence officers and judiciary.

"We believe that for any political agreement to be effective on the ground, all parties tasked with implementing it have to be present with us today," he said.

At a press conference in a VIP lounge at Tripoli's Mitiga airport late on Friday, Kobler said that in meetings with both administrations he put forward "five points."

Firstly, "the Libyan political agreement is the basis of all discussions. There is no alternative," he said.

Secondly, "there should be no parallel initiatives. All initiatives should be based under the umbrella of the United Nations," Kobler added.

The process must be "inclusive," and also be guided by the principle of "the peaceful transfer of power from the old institutions to the new institutions," he said.

Finally, he said, there was "the principle of Libyan ownership. It must be a Libyan agreement and the Libyans must steer the process."

The press conference was cut short by Jamal Zoubia, head of the media department in the Tripoli-based government, who told Kobler that the event was "illegal" as he needed prior permission.

Read more on:    un  |  libya

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.