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,"
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
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.