Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Finally Haftar Meets Sarraj On Foreign Land (حفتر يلتقي السراج في أبو ظبي)


Haftar Meets Sarraj
Photo source: Lana News


Finally Haftar and Sarraj met in UAE [1] on Tuesday the 2nd of May 2017. One of the confirmed points of agreement is that they agreed to meet again in Cairo on the following week. Initially the Libyan media reported various points agreed between the two, but later it emerged that some of the points reported by the media were, as usual, not true. The following is what the media said; followed by what the GNA's website announced; then followed by the joint statement that came from the UAE. First, what the media said [2]:


Media's Report


  • To keep the dialogue open
  • To meet again in Cairo on the following week
  • To form a work team to oversee the completing of the agreement
  • To form a smaller Presidential Council made of three members
  • To unite the Libyan army
  • To hold presidential and legislative elections before March 2018
  • To discuss cancelling Article 8 of the LPA (only one source reported this point [3])
  • To reject all foreign military interference in Libya's affairs
  • To reject the settlement of illegal immigrants in Libya
  • To fight the [international] terrorism [imposed on Libya]
  • To dissolve all militia and armed groups



GNA's Official Statement


That was how various Libyan media outlets reported the meeting. However, on the following day, the website of the GNA [4] published its official statement regarding the meeting, and according to this document there is no such agreement. This document says [according to Temehu's translation] is that: "there was emphasis on a number of issues the most important of which are as follows". This sentence does not indicate any kind of agreement, just emphasis that the listed issues are important. Nonetheless, these issues are as follows:

  • The call for a social dialogue to establish national principles and the idea of building a democratic country, and the work towards the constitution to overcome the transitional period.
  • The necessity to return the Libyan displaced and refugees to their homes and work towards national reconciliation.
  • Legally uniting the state's institutions and preserving the principles of the 17th of February.
  • Work towards finding solutions to the financial problems the Libyans suffer from.
  • Presenting a strategy to build the Libyan army and the emphasis that the army must be under the command of civil government.
  • Uniting all efforts to fight terror.
  • Calming the situation in the south of Libya.
  • Taking all the steps to ensure a peaceful and transparent authority of governance, and fighting corruption.

Download the official statement regarding Sarrah-Haftar Meeting - part 1

Download the official statement regarding Sarrah-Haftar Meeting - part 2


Joint Statement (بيان مشترك في ختام لقاء المشير حفتر والسراج في أبو ظبي )


The Joint statement [5] states the following points of agreement:

  • To preserve the national unity of the country
  • To activate the Libyan army to fight terror, protect the borders, and secure the country
  • Addressing the problem of militias and collecting arms from the people
  • Amending the LPA
  • Work towards lifting the embargo on the Libyan army
  • Calming the situation in Fezzan

Download The Joint Statement by Sarraj And Haftar


Update 1:

The Cairo Meeting


It emerged later that the Cairo meeting between Haftar and Sarraj had never took place. According to a number of speakers in Libyaschannel's Sejjal, Mr. Sarraj failed to attend the Cairo meeting because he was controlled by the Islamist militias controlling Tripoli which ordered him not to go [6]. The GNA's website did even mention the news of the meeting with Haftar [8]. However, Haftar did go to Cairo on the following week but instead he met President Sisi; followed by a visit of the Egyptian Chief of Staff to Cyrenaica a few days later.

Instead, forces operating in the area controlled by the GNA, particularly the Third Force, attacked LNA's air base in Brak Ashshathi on Thursday the 18th of May 2017; massacring 142 people in cold blood. The Libyan army said it will retaliate by attacking the Jufra base (near Houn and Sukna) - an area allegedly controlled by Islamist and radical militias including Qaeda-affiliates. The GNA, on the other hand, had suspended their Defence Minister, Mr. Almahdi Alberghthi [7].

All in all, it seems tragedy that the UN imposes such a government in violation of the democratic rule for which the country was destroyed by its bombing campaign in 2011 allegedly to protect the Libyan civilians (by placing them in greater danger than ever before in Libya's entire history).


Update 2:

Haftar's Revelations To Journalist Esa Abdulqayyoum


On the 25th of May 2017 the Libyan Almarsad (صحيفة المرصد الليبي) published an interview with Haftar in which the latter revealed a 12-point plan which he discussed with president Sarraj. The interview [9] was conducted by the Libyan journalist Esa Abdulqayyoum (عيسى عبدالقيوم), who said he decided to follow the matter after Sarraj had failed to attend the Cairo meeting and as a result he requested an interview with Field-Marshal Haftar.

According to this interview, Haftar was shocked to hear that president Sarraj attended the meeting without presenting any suggestions or solutions to the problem and that (according to Haftar) president Sarraj told him he attended the meeting only to break the silence, and that Sarraj only requested calming the situation in Fezzan.

However, Haftar did present a 12-point plan for discussion, to which president Sarraj responded by saying he will take the proposals to Tripoli and discuss with other "unnamed authorities" in the west of Libya.

Haftar's 12-point proposal can be translated as follows:

  1. Libya is one united state not to be divided.

  2. The Libyan National Army is the only army in Libya and no other parallel military power will be allowed; the army will include everyone who carries a legal military number subject to the laws of the military institution.

  3. No dominion by the government over the army which will come under the jurisdiction of the Presidency Council once agreed upon its structure.

  4. Total rejection of any foreign intervention in building the army and securing all towns and cities including Tripoli.

  5. The Libyan army is responsible for protecting the country's resources like the petroleum terminals, water resources, gas, and all Libya's borders.

  6. The forthcoming executive government must not come under the control of any political party, ideology or militia.

  7. Daesh (ISIL), Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia, LIFG, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) must be regarded as "terror organisations".

  8. Dissolving all types of militias and brigades according to an agreed legal frame, and propose an alternative for those who do not wish to join the army.

  9. Prohibiting ownership of arms and weapons except what is permitted by law.

  10. Any procedure outside the boundaries of the Constitutional Declaration (CD) and its Amendments shall be regarding void.

  11. The continuation of the fight against terrorism as defined above until Libya is totally free of terror in order to insure the safety of all Libyans and begin the development of the country.

  12. The Central Bank of Libya, the National Oil Corporation, and the Libyan Foreign Investment Board are sovereign institutions not subject to government (مؤسسات سيادية لا تخضع للحكومة).

To Read the full interview in Arabic please follow this link:
https://almarsad.co/2017/05/25/لأول-مرة-حفتر-يكشف-عن-وثيقة-النقاط-الـ-12/

For further information about the UN-imposed GNA please visit:
https://www.temehu.com/gna.htm


Refrences:

[1] http://www.lananews.com/ar/?p=56237
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaWBqedkD98 
[3] http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/140651/ 
[4] http://www.pm.gov.ly/news/item/4127-بيان-رئيس-المجلس-الرئاسي-لحكومة-الوفاق-الوطني.html
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxashmt1i1g 
[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjRhHx04clo 
[7] http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/142328/
[8] http://www.pm.gov.ly/news.html?start=20
[9] https://almarsad.co/2017/05/25/لأول-مرة-حفتر-يكشف-عن-وثيقة-النقاط-الـ-12/

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