First Published: 2017-02-16

Libya rivals agree to explore amending deal to end rift
Head of Libya's unity government, rival army chief agree to set up joint committee to formulate amendments to deal that set up unity government.
Middle East Online

The head of Libya's unity government Fayez al-Sarraj

CAIRO - Rival powers in Libya have agreed to form a committee to explore amending a UN-backed deal to end the country's political turmoil, Egypt announced on Wednesday after hosting talks.

The head of Libya's unity government Fayez al-Sarraj and rival army chief Marshal Khalifa Haftar had been in Cairo this week for talks mediated by the Egyptian army.

They agreed to set up "a joint committee" to formulate amendments to the deal that set up the unity government, the military said in a statement.

Libyan media reported that Sarraj and Haftar did not meet face to face during the talks in Cairo.

Sarraj's UN-backed Government of National Accord has struggled to assert its authority across the North African country since starting work in Tripoli nearly a year ago.

Haftar, whose forces control much of the eastern Cyrenaica region, is backed by a parliament based in the east that has refused to pass a vote of confidence in the unity government.

Sarraj met Haftar in January last year in the eastern town of Al-Marj shortly after he was named GNA head.

The UN-brokered deal gave Haftar no role in the unity government, but the Egypt-backed strongman made clear he was a key player when he seized control of Libya's main eastern oil export terminals in September.

UN envoy Martin Kobler said last week that talks had made progress on "possible amendments" to the deal, notably on Haftar's future role.

A source close to Haftar said on Tuesday that the strongman had been seeking guarantees that any changes that were agreed would not be blocked by powerful militias from Libya's third city Misrata that have been one of the main armed supports for the unity government.

Tunisia's foreign ministry said on Wednesday that Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt's top diplomats would meet on March 1 in Tunis to discuss the Libyan crisis.

 

US, Iranian top diplomats confront each other for first time

Moscow accuses US of hitting Syrian regime forces

Turkey, Iran and Iraq make joint threat against Kurd vote

Thousands of Huthi supporters mark 3 years since Sanaa takeover

Gemstone purchase essential for Najaf pilgrims

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq

Air strikes kill 22 civilians in northwest Syria in 48 hours

Iranian supreme leader lashes out at Trump UN speech

Iraq attacks all remaining IS territory at once

Turkey jails lawyers representing hunger striking teachers

Syrian Kurds to hold first local elections in federal push

Qatari expats lauded as statesmen by Arab critics

Shipwreck off Libyan coast leaves over 100 migrants missing

Will Turkey’s opposition to Kurdish state translate into action?

US ups the ante on Iraq Kurds

Macron: Iran nuclear deal no longer enough

Trump’s mind made up on Iran but refuses to divulge

Scores of Iraqis missing during war against ISIS

Netanyahu rejects calls for mixed gender worship at Western Wall

Russia accuses US of missile treaty breach

Iran TV translator mocked for watering down Trump speech

Saudi Arabia hopes Kurdish referendum will not take place

Saudi invites women to sports stadium for first time

Saudi set to create $2.7 billion investment company

Humanitarian disaster grips Yemen three years since Houthi takeover

What will become of Iraq’s Hawija after ISIS?

Multi-ethnic Kirkuk tense ahead of referendum

UN awaits Iran’s defence against Trump nuclear deal threats

US-backed SDF seizes 90% of Syria's Raqa

Man hanged in Iran for rape, murder of child

Saudi to lift ban on internet phone calls

Sisi calls for peace, co-existence in Mideast

Erdogan demands Iraqi Kurds call off referendum

US looking to revisit Iran nuclear deal

Trump expects Gulf dispute to be resolved quickly

Bashir calls on Darfur displaced to return

Saudi Aramco could release accounts in early 2018

Saudi-led coalition says rebels hindering Yemen food imports

Jihadist activity prompts regime, Russian air strikes in Syria safe zone

Two prominent rights activists arrested in Saudi Arabia

Israel shoots down Hezbollah drone over Golan Heights

Iraqi forces launch assault on IS in western Anbar province

Families of the missing, the forgotten victims of war in Lebanon

25 killed in South Sudan clashes

Suicide attack on Iraq restaurant kills three