Morocco: Rival Libya camps sign UN-backed peace deal

18th Dec 2015
Morocco: Rival Libya camps sign UN-backed peace deal
RABAT, Morocco (AA) – Libya’s rival political camps signed a reconciliation agreement Thursday following months of negotiations.

The signing ceremony, held in the Moroccan city of Skhirat, included both Libya’s Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) and the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.

UN envoy to Libya Martin Kobler attended the ceremony along with a number of foreign ministers, including Moroccan FM Salaheddine Mezouar, Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu and Qatari FM Khalid al-Attiyah.

The agreement calls for a one-year transitional phase to last until a referendum on a new constitution and legislative elections can be held.

Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since a bloody uprising ended the decades-long rule of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each with its own institutions and military capacities.

According to the terms of the new agreement, the two sides are now expected to establish a unity government to run the country’s affairs during the transitional period.

Turkish FM Cavusoglu said additional parties in Libya must be brought on board the deal.

“We will continue working to convince important people from both sides who have not signed on to the agreement,” he said.

“In order to ensure unity we must include everyone,” he added. “We must work to ensure a cease-fire throughout all of Libya.”

Cavusoglu went on to call for the restructuring of Libya’s security institutions.

“That was the mistake made in Iraq,” he said. “Iraq is still paying the price for that; 30 percent of its territory is now occupied by Daesh.”

“Daesh is in Libya too,” the Turkish FM warned. “Along with the restructuring of Libya’s security apparatus, the international community should also pursue a results-oriented strategy for the eradication of Daesh from the country.”

Turkey, he went on to assert, “will always support brother country Libya”.

In regards to Thursday’s attack by Daesh on a Turkish training camp in northern Iraq, Cavusoglu said: “It turns out our security concerns there were justified. But we will continue to support Iraq’s fight against Daesh.”

On Wednesday evening, a Turkish training camp near Mosul was targeted by rocket fire from nearby positions under Daesh control, according to a statement issued by the Turkish General Staff.

Ali Zaatari, deputy head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), also commented on Libya’s recently-penned reconciliation agreement.

“The political deal struck between the two sides in Libya is not the end but the beginning of the road,” Zaatari told Anadolu Agency on Thursday after attending the 2nd Libya Experts Development Cooperation Forum in Tunis.

“Libya will overcome its problems through goodwill and its international partnerships,” he said.

Author: Hatice Vildan Topaloğlu, Mahmoud Barakat, Feyza Süsal
[Photo: Libya’s Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) representative Salih el-Mahzum (L) and Libya‘s Tobruk-based government’s [ House of Representatives] representative Muhammed Shuayb (R), Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Martin Kobler (2nd R) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco Salaheddine Mezouar (C) hold a press conference after signing the “Libyan Political Agreement” in Suheirat, Morocco on December 17, 2015. Photographer: Jalal Morchidi ]

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