The Chief of Staff of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Abdel-Razek Al-Nathouri has arrived in Tripoli, to participate in a preparatory meeting on the elections.
A member of Libya’s 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC), Mukhtar Al-Naqassa confirmed that Al-Nathouri was accompanied by several JMC members. The meeting will be held on Sunday, in the presence of the UN Envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily.
It is the second visit of its kind for Al-Nathouri to Tripoli. This comes after his earlier visit in July 2022, to hold a meeting with his western counterpart, and Chief of Staff of the Government of National Unity (GNU), Mohamed Al-Haddad. The two discussed unifying the military institution, activating common borders, and combating terrorism.
Al-Naqassa added in a statement to Ahrar TV that the meeting will “include some of the military leaders who participated in the Tunis meeting in mid-March. As well as representatives from the western, central, and eastern regions.”
He pointed out that a second meeting will include the same group, and will be decided later in the city of Benghazi.
“The JMC seeks to fully agree on steps to reach elections that are acceptable to all segments of society, with the participation of military leaders and the forces on the ground,” Al-Naqassa added.
In Tunisia, JMC representatives and military and security leaders from the east and west agreed to unite, to organize free and fair elections in Libya in 2023.
Earlier in March, Libyan military factions agreed to facilitate free and fair elections in the country this year, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said.
UNSMIL has hosted a meeting for the JMC, in the presence of Bathily. A number of military commanders in the West and East of the country participated in the meeting.
Bathily endorsed the outcome and saluted the “patriotic spirit demonstrated by all participants during this meeting.” He called on all security and military leaders to “support this timely initiative.”
According to a statement by UNSMIL, the meeting aimed to “establish a safe and conducive environment for the political process, and for holding free and fair elections in 2023.” They stressed that “the interests of Libya and its people come first and transcend all personal interests of all parties.”
The participants agreed to “come together and move forward towards organizing free and fair elections in Libya this year.”