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.

 

UN chief 'deeply alarmed' by Eastern Ghouta violence

Russia pours cold water on UN bid to condemn Iran over missiles to Yemen

Saudi Arabia to boost entertainment in next decade

Merkel calls for end to 'massacre' in Syria

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Saudi, UAE urge Syria to end Ghouta violence

Iraq urges FIFA to lift ban on hosting internationals

Carnage of Ghouta's bombs breaking families

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea

African migrants start hunger strike over Israel expulsion

Three militiamen killed in Libya car bomb attack

Russia denies ‘groundless’ accusations of role in Ghouta killings

Turkey says whoever helps YPG is 'legitimate target'

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terrorist cell

Turkey urged to end gas standoff with Cyprus

PKK attack near Iraq kills 2 Turkish soldiers

Netanyahu confidant to testify against him

Iran emergency teams recover bodies from plane crash site

Ten dead in more Syrian regime strikes on East Ghouta

Bahrain activist sentenced to 5 years for Yemen tweets

Lebanese president makes landmark visit to Iraq

US declares readiness to talk Mideast peace

Bloodbath in Syria's eastern Ghouta

Abbas calls for peace conference in rare UN speech

Egyptian court adds leading government critic on terror list

Yemen government offensive threatens heritage site

Turkey considering chemical castration for child abusers

45 civilians killed in air strikes on rebel enclave

Cairo sheds Ottoman-era street names amid Egypt-Turkey crisis

New woes for Israeli PM in fresh graft cases

Maghreb countries wary about jihadists relocating from Iraq, Syria

Erdogan says Turkey will besiege Afrin "swiftly"

Turkey releases leading pro-Kurdish politician

5 Iranian police killed in Sufi protests

Iran finds wreckage of crashed plane on top of mountain

Israel’s gas contract with Egypt: deal or no deal?

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs

Iran plane crash rescue search halted for second night

France reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal

Turkey warns Syria against protecting Kurds

Abbas warms up to Moscow amid cold US-Palestinian ties

Israel strikes 'historic' gas contract with Egypt

Are Iranian satellite channels aiding regime change?

Israel pounds Gaza with air strikes after rocket attack

IS kills 25 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk