The UN mission announced the launch of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum on Monday, October 26, and set a date for the direct meeting on November 9 in Tunisia.
On Sunday, the UN Mission invited 75 participants from all parts of Libya, representing all spectrums of the Libyan society, to participate in the first meeting of the comprehensive Libyan Political Dialogue Forum via video conference.
The UN Mission confirmed that the selection of participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum was based on the principles of inclusiveness and fair geographical, political, tribal and social representation.
It noted that the participants represented the House of Representatives and the High Council of State, in addition to the active political forces outside the two institutions, confirming that Libyan women, youth and minorities are also all represented.
According to the UN Mission, the first meeting will provide information on the latest developments in the economic and military tracks, as well as the path for human rights and international humanitarian law.
Acting UN Envoy to Libya Stephanie Williams said that the participants will review the recommendations that have resulted so far from the meetings held by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General with representatives of the Libyan community from municipalities, women, youth and civil society organizations.
Williams pointed out that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum is a comprehensive Libyan-Libyan dialogue that is held based on the outcomes of the Berlin Summit on Libya, which was approved by the Security Council.
She stressed that the UN Mission continues to provide innovative solutions through interactive tools to ensure the participation of the largest possible number of Libyans in the political dialogue, adding that it will also launch an interactive website to receive contributions and comments from Libyans on the conduct of the forum’s work during the Tunis meeting and any future meetings within the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum process.
The UN Mission called on all participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum to assume their responsibilities before the Libyan people, engage constructively and in good faith in the talks, and place Libya and the public interest above all other considerations.
The UN Mission also expressed its appreciation for the commitment of the participants in the forum to disqualify themselves from political and sovereign positions during the preliminary stage of the elections.
The Mission also appreciated the sense of responsibility and patriotism of those who chose to withdraw from the forum due to their desire to run for executive positions in the preliminary stage, which enhances the transparency and legitimacy of this process.
The UN Mission said that the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum aims to find consensus on a unified executive authority and the necessary arrangements for holding national elections in the shortest possible time period in order to restore Libya’s sovereignty and provide democratic legitimacy to Libyan institutions.
The Mission strongly welcomed the constructive political and material support provided by the members of the international community and the contributions made by Libya’s neighboring countries to advance the peace process.
The 5+5 Military Committee in Geneva agreed to an immediate ceasefire and to evacuate all contact lines from military units and armed groups by returning them to their camps, in conjunction with the departure of all mercenaries and foreign fighters from the Libyan lands by land, sea and air within a maximum period of three months from the date of signing the ceasefire.
The Libyan parties participating in the committee also agreed to freeze the work of military agreements for training inside Libya, as well as for training teams to leave until the new unified government takes over its work.
Obstacles threatening dialogue
Many Libyans have expressed their dissatisfaction with the names on the final list of participants announced by the UN Mission, which comes amid talks about “obstacles” that threaten to foil the dialogue.
Activists and local news sites circulated the final list of the names of the participants in the forum to be held in Tunisia. However, several Libyan personalities and different currents refused to participate in the upcoming dialogue.
Zaidan Maatouq al-Zadma, one of those whose names appeared on the UN Mission’s list of participants in the dialogue, announced his withdrawal from it.
Zadma posted on his Facebook account that his decision came due to “the presence of personalities belonging to the Brotherhood movement, in addition to some controversial figures that have been the cause of the suffering of Libyans over the past years.”
He also affirmed “his adherence to constants, the most important of which is support for the Libyan army in its war against terrorism, ending the militias’ control of political and financial decisions in Tripoli, as well as expelling foreign mercenaries from Libya.”
For its part, the Libyan National People’s Movement condemned the list of participants selected by the UN Mission for the forum.
According to a statement by the movement’s spokesperson, Tamer Saeed, the list “included a large group of the Brotherhood, extremist elements, and foreign nationalities who participated in the destruction and sabotage of Libya during the past decade.”
Saeed added that “the terms of reference granted to the dialogue committee appointed by unknown parties represent a serious violation of the will of the Libyan people and foretells the continuation of the crisis.”
Political analysts also see that there are many obstacles to implementing an agreement that all Libyans are satisfied with, including the division of ministerial portfolios, the nature of the tasks of the new Presidential Council, as well as consensus on the occupants of these positions.
According to observers, limiting the meetings between representatives of the House of Representatives and the High Council of State “was more beneficial than expanding the circle of participation,” pointing to “the participation of currents that do not constitute any value on the Libyan ground, which increases the severity of the problem and reinforces differences.”