Africa, Analysis, Side Feature

Q&A: The Resumption of Dialogue Between the Libyan Parties


on Monday 23/11/2020, the dialogue in a second round between the Libyan parties resumed through video conference technology. It focused on the mechanisms for running for the new government and the Presidential Council. The first round was held on Sunday, 15/11/2020, and it was announced that an agreement had been reached on certain points, while some points remained pending. This dialogue began in parallel with a dialogue that began in Morocco between the Libyan parties as well. Who is behind the war of dialogues? Did these dialogues reach to important matters that can solve the crisis in Libya? What are the international positions on that?


To answer the questions, it is necessary to review the following matters:

1- Turkey supported al-Sarraj until his forces defeated Haftar’s forces and repelled them away from the capital, Tripoli, and pursued him until Sirte and Jufra, then it asked him to accept a permanent ceasefire and the dialogue and negotiations with the other party, which Turkey considers a rebel and illegitimate! That is why, on 17/6/2020, the Turkish foreign minister visited Tripoli, the capital, to meet with Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the reconciliation government, and announced: “We discussed ways to achieve a permanent ceasefire in Libya and to reach a permanent political solution.” (Anadolu 18/6/2020). Turkey’s intervention was not in the interest of al-Sarraj and his government, but rather to put it under pressure to accept the other party. Turkey is orbiting America openly. America announced that it supports Turkey’s steps in Libya, which means that the Turkish move is being done on its behalf. A phone call on 8/6/2020 between the presidents of the two countries, Trump and Erdogan, discussed the Libyan issue, and Erdogan declared that “there is work to produce an American-Turkish initiative to solve the Libyan crisis.” In an interview with the official Turkish TRT TV after this call, he said that “agreements have been reached with Trump.” And referred to the “possibility of the two countries formulating a “joint initiative” on Libya” without revealing further details. Likewise, the statements of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to the Turkish TNV TV on 11/6/2020 confirms this, as he said: “Turkish and American officials will discuss possible steps, as agreed upon by President Erdogan and his US counterpart Trump during a phone call on Monday (8/6/2020). He also indicated that “a Turkish-American initiative may be issued regarding Libya”, all of which confirms that Turkey is implementing American policies only in Libya.

2- And when al-Sarraj was unable to control Sirte and Jufra due to the cessation of Turkish support and was insisting on storming them until Haftar falls, and if this support had not stopped, he would have been able to control them, and he was put under pressure to accept a cease-fire and negotiate with the other party, so he announced on 16/9/2020 that he will resign at the end of next October to embarrass Erdogan. He declared in a speech broadcast on the Libyan state television on 16/9/2020, in a speech transmitted by the official Libyan television: (“I announce to everyone my sincere desire to hand over my duties no later than the end of October… in the hope that the dialogue committee will complete its work and choose a new presidential council and president of the government, “and he acknowledged the pressure on him when he added,” The state of polarization made all discussions aimed at finding peaceful settlements very difficult and arduous, accusing parties he did not name of betting on the option of war. He admitted, “His government has not been operating in a normal or even semi-natural environment since It was formed and was exposed every day to plots internally and externally.”) This is with the knowledge that al-Sarraj took over the leadership of the Libyan government that was formed by Britain in Tunisia and transferred it to Tripoli immediately after its conclusion of the Skhirat Agreement in 2015, so he would not resign without a motive from Europe, especially Britain.

3- Erdogan received the news of al-Sarraj’s announcement of his intention to resign with alarm, saying: [“He met al-Sarraj last week in Istanbul… Of course, the occurrence of such a development and receiving such news after that (the meeting) was sad for us.” He pointed out to “meetings between Turkish delegations and the reconciliation government may take place during the next week… through these meetings, Allah willing, we will turn the matter towards the required direction” (Anadolu Agency and Reuters 18/9/2020)]. In the end, al-Sarraj retracted the resignation, Al-Jazeera published on 30/10/2020: [The head of the Libyan Presidency Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, announced – today, Friday – his response to calls demanding him to retract his decision to resign from his post at the end of October. This came in a statement by Ghaleb Al-Zaqlai, the spokesman for al-Sarraj, published on his Twitter page, and transmitted by the “Libya” the official channel through its confirmed account on Facebook… (Al-Jazeera 30/10/2020)]. Europe was forced to agree to his resignation in order to appear as if it did not submit to Erdogan, but rather that it shares that opinion too. Therefore, the previous source added: [The German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas – today Friday – asked al-Sarraj to continue performing his duties throughout the duration of the Libyan dialogue. This came during a phone call between Maas and al-Sarraj, during which they discussed the latest developments in Libya, according to a statement published by the Libyan government on Facebook. The German minister said during the call that al-Sarraj’s remaining in his position is “an important matter” to ensure continuity in the leadership of the Libyan government during this stage… (Al-Jazeera 30/10/2020)] End

4- Thus, instead of al-Sarraj embarrassing Erdogan with his resignation, he was forced to retract it! However, even after he retracted it, Erdogan called him to repeat to him that his decision to resign was not correct! On 7/11/2020, the Turkish news site Khabar 7 reported (quoting from diplomatic sources that “Erdogan told al-Sarraj that the resignation decision he took was not correct, and this decision will contribute to changing the balance in favour of the parties hostile to the Libyan people.”

5- As for the Russian intervention, it was with American approval, as it is taking place in coordination with Turkey, and Russia is trying to take a neutral position on both sides and appears as a mediator even though it sent forces to support Haftar, even if it claims that it did not send forces, but it is the Russian security company Wagner, which is associated with President Putin! It does not want to sever its ties with al-Sarraj’s government so that it has influence over it to play its role and have a participation in the negotiations on Libya. That is why Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian President’s Personal Envoy to the Middle East and Africa, said: “We cooperate closely with all influential international players, including Turkey, with due consideration for its special relations with the Tripoli authorities, on the Libyan agenda”. He praised the Russian-Turkish cooperation in Libya as he considered, “The well-known January initiative (13/1/2020) by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan played a positive role in that the warring parties announced a ceasefire, and this created a favourable background for holding the Berlin Conference. (Al-Ahram 20/7/2020)

6- Hence America’s demand came from its Secretary of State Pompeo on 6/10/2020 [“for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, calling for an end to all foreign interference in Libya and a return to the negotiation table.” He said, “The agreement between the GNA the Government of National Accord) and the LNA (the Libyan National Army” the army of Haftar) to re-enter UN security talks was a good first step, very positive. Quick and good faith negotiations are now required to implement a ceasefire and relaunch the UN-led intra-Libyan political talks.” (Sky News 10/6/2020)]. America welcomed the recent agreement in which the two sides announced their acceptance of the ceasefire, and declared through its Secretary of State Pompeo on 26/10/2020 that [“a ceasefire agreement between Libya’s warring factions was a courageous step and that all foreign fighters… to supporting the transfer of power to a new executive authority to prepare for national elections” The UN Support Mission in Libya announced on 23/10/2020 that “the two parties to the conflict had signed a permanent ceasefire agreement after five days of talks at the United Nations… (Reuters 23/10/2020)]. America is intervening diplomatically and politically directly in Libya in the name of the United Nations, to take control and pull the rug from under the feet of Europe, especially Britain.

7- And because what is taking place in Libya is a political conflict punctuated by military actions, there was a race to hold meetings to bring together the Libyan parties for dialogue and agreement, and even to sign the dictates… Britain held three rounds in Morocco in the Moroccan city of Bouznika for the so-called Libyan dialogue between the two delegations of the Supreme Council of the state is in Tripoli and the House of Representatives of Tobruk, and the first round was held on 6-10/9/2020. The second round was on 2-6/10/2020, and the third round on 5/11/2020 and the delegations of the two parties signed a draft agreement on the criteria for choosing sovereign positions. It appeared that Britain was behind these meetings through its agents, and the dialogue related to finding a consensus to implement Article 15 of the Skhirat Agreement in Morocco signed on 17/12/2015.

On the part of the Libyan government in Tripoli, the minutes of the agreement were signed by the head of the delegation of the Supreme Council of the State, Fawzi al-Oqab, and on the part of the Tobruk Parliament, it was signed by the head of the Parliament’s delegation, Youssef al-Aqouri, in the suburbs of the capital, Rabat. Article 15 indicates in its first paragraph that “The House of Representatives consults with the State Council to reach consensus on the occupants of the leadership positions of the following sovereign positions: Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, President of the Audit Bureau, Head of the Administrative Control Authority, Head of the Anti-Corruption Agency, President of the High Elections Commission and its members, the President of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General.” The second paragraph of the article states that “the approval of two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives is required for these positions.” The two parties to the dialogue met for the first round between 6 and 10 of September. And they reached a comprehensive agreement on the mechanism for assuming the sovereign positions and the resumption of sessions to complete procedures on the agreement and its implementation.

8- America sought to shuffle all the cards through the United Nations Acting Envoy Stephanie Williams, an American diplomatic figure, calling for holding Libyan dialogue sessions parallel to what happened in Bouznika under the slogan “Libya first”. On 9/11/2020, a round of direct negotiations between the parties to the conflict in Libya began in Tunisia, with the participation of 75 Libyan political figures sponsored by the United Nations, chosen by it (America). The dialogue team consists of deputies, members of the Supreme Council, notables, and representatives of the three regions, namely, Tripoli, Barqa and Fezzan. On the evening of 15/11/2020, Williams said: “The round of direct Libyan dialogue in Tunisia ended with very positive results and that a new round will be held via the Internet in a week’s time. The positive results are embodied in determining the date of the elections, defining the terms of reference of the executive authority and the conditions for running for the Presidential and Governmental Council, and that the participants in the Libyan dialogue reached in the seventh day of the discussions a consensus in three basic files, the first of which is the date for holding elections on 24/12/2021, corresponding to an important date for Libyans, which is the country’s independence in 1951… The terms of reference of the executive authority and the conditions for running for the Presidential Council have been defined, as it will have simple responsibilities, including working on national reconciliation, and it consists of three members representing the regions of the South, East and West… As for the third file that the participants agree upon is the competence of the government, which will be limited to providing services to the Libyan people, such as water, electricity and other things… and that the Presidency Council and the government will be separate structures in their work. Those who will be chosen for these positions will work for a short period and they will be technocrats “not affiliated with parties.” There is still a lot of work to be done… Ten years of conflict cannot be resolved in one week… the participants agreed to meet within a week via video technology to determine the mechanisms for selecting a legal committee, and to define the constitutional basis for the elections that will be a matter of sovereignty” (Anadolu Agency 16/11/2020). It completely ignored the Skhirat agreement, as if it was working from scratch when Williams said, “Ten years of conflict cannot be resolved in one week.” It searches all the files again to unofficially cancel the Skhirat Agreement, and belittle the British influence to end it permanently if possible, or put it under control if it is not able to eliminate it.

9- Acting UN envoy Stephanie Williams vowed to obstruct the dialogue with sanctions. She said, [“Those who try to provide money to the participants in the dialogue will be classified as hindering it, and an investigation will be opened into information about paying bribes and buying votes.” She made reference to that “there is a code of conduct regarding the interference of corrupt political money.” She said: “The proposal to exclude the participating personalities from the positions did not materialize, but the percentage reached 61%, and 75% is required for consensus about it.” (Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat 17/11/2020)]. She acts as a representative of the American policy under the name of the United Nations envoy. America itself supported its decision through the US House of Representatives, as the US House of Representatives voted to approve the Libya Stability Support Act. The law states: [“the importance of the talks led by the United Nations on Libya… The draft calls for the imposition of sanctions on any person or entity illegally exploiting Libyan oil resources or financial institutions, along with an emphasis on accountability for accomplices in human rights violations… (Sky News 19/11/2020)].

10- Negotiations took place between the delegations of the Joint Libyan Military Committee (5 + 5) emanating from the course of the Berlin Conference to implement a ceasefire under the supervision of the United Nations Acting Envoy Stephanie Williams of the United States. On 4/11/2020, she announced that a consensus had been reached on the terms of the agreement and said: [12 items to implement a ceasefire the fire, the most prominent of which is the formation of a military sub-committee to oversee the return of all foreign forces “to their countries” and the withdrawal of the two parties’ forces from Sirte and Jufra. And according to the agreement signed in Geneva on 23/10/2020, and a period of 90 days was set for the departure of all foreign forces from the Libyan lands.” (Reuters 23/10/2020)]. Erdogan said, “We do not know if mercenaries like Wagner will withdraw from Libya within three months or not.” (Reuters 23/10/2020). He says this while coordinating with Russia in Libya! And America does not pressure Russia to withdraw these and other forces, until America achieves its goals in Libya and the region, as it did in Syria.

11- In summary, based on what we have eluded and shown in details, it is as follows:

A- Al-Sarraj government wanted to use Turkish support to realize the European project, especially the British, in order to defeat Haftar and gain control over his areas of influence, especially Sirte and Jufra, but Turkey used al-Sarraj’s support for the American project. As soon as al-Sarraj forces reached Sirte and Jufra, Turkey stopped its support and asked al-Sarraj to accept a ceasefire and return to negotiations and dialogue with the other party, which it considers a rebel and illegitimate! Al-Sarraj was surprised and wanted to embarrass Erdogan by announcing his resignation, but Turkey pressured him to prevent him from doing so, and when Europe found that Turkish pressure had increased on al-Sarraj and so that it would not appear submissive to Erdogan’s pressure, it showed al-Sarraj going back on his resignation, which is what it wants because it is in the interest of Britain and Europe that al-Sarraj, continues with them, when they were the ones behind his resignation!

B- These dialogues are artificial and fabricated by the major active powers, so that the countries become hostages to these countries that solve their problems or complicate them and force the parties to implement them, in order to be able to extend their influence, therefore they will not solve the problems correctly. The Skhirat Agreement is an example of this, as Britain has worked to implement it and formed immediately al-Sarraj government. Britain has tried, in the recent Bouznika meetings in Morocco, to work to implement other articles of the Skhirat Agreement, but the American diplomat Williams, who works under the name of an acting UN envoy, held parallel dialogue meetings between the two parties to install the ceasefire decided in Geneva, Ghadames in Libya, and then in Tunisia. In order to agree to hold elections after a year. Thus, America will use all its tools to make the US diplomatic mission successful so that it can pull the rug from under Britain’s feet and manage and direct the conflict as it wants.

C- The main competing actors, America and Britain, will obstruct each other’s projects until the other party’s project fails and their project succeeds. Thus, it is unlikely for these countries to find a solution that provides security and safety for the Libyan people, because even if elections are held, it will not lead to a final and safe solution, but the conflict will continue until America or Europe can gain influence in Libya, and the Libyans become the fuel of this conflict! It was necessary for the people of Libya to reject all these conspiracies and not to follow this or that country or this or that agent, and work to take matters out of those hands and hand them over to pure and clean hands, the hands of the politically aware sincere people from the Ummah’s sons, and to work to prepare Libya is to be part of an Islamic State that includes all the countries of Islam; it is the Khilafah Rashidah (rightly-guided Caliphate) state on the method of Prophethood that the Messenger ﷺ gave its glad-tidings «ثُمَّ تَكُونُ خِلَافَة عَلَى مِنْهَاجِ النُّبُوَّةِ» “Then there will be Khilafah on the method of Prophethood.”


10 Rabii’ Al Akhir 1442 AH

25//11/2020 CE