Libya’s Rival Parties Agree to Attend Mediation Talks in Geneva


On Wednesday, the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU), headed by Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba, and its rival Government of National Stability (GNS), headed by Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha agreed to attend a mediation meeting hosted by the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue.

A well-informed source at the Center, which is a private diplomatic organization based in Geneva, said that they are planning an “informal consultative meeting between the rival parties, who have already approved the talks, which will also be attended by all Libyan institutions.”

The source – who spoke on condition of anonymity – told Asharq Al-Awsat that the meeting “will be held in response to a request from several Libyan parties, and regional and international countries.”

He also stressed that the United Nations Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) “has nothing to do with this meeting, but it is of course invited to attend as a party to the Libyan crisis.”

The source explained that the meeting “aims to reach a consensus among all Libyan institutions regarding a new initiative announced by UN Envoy to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, during his latest briefing to the UN Security Council.”

They noted that the meeting is scheduled to be held on 5 April in Geneva, Switzerland. It will be attended by the main Libyan stakeholders and representatives of the international community, with the aim of “developing practical recommendations that support holding constructive elections, before the end of this year.”

The source stated that the meeting will constitute the final session of the discussions that will be held from 3-5 April between the Libyan parties. As well as adding that the talks will “focus on finding guarantees during the pre-and post-electoral period, in addition to the electoral calendar and security arrangements related to the elections.”

Meanwhile, a delegation from the Libyan Parliament, headed by the Second Deputy Speaker, Abdel-Hadi Al-Saghir met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Representative of the President of Russia for the Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov.

The meeting was attended by the Russian President’s Envoy to Libya, and the former and current ambassadors of Russia to Libya.

The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow. They exchanged views on the current situation in Libya, according to the Libyan Parliament’s Spokesman, Abdullah Blaiheg.

The parties focused on the issues surrounding a comprehensive settlement of the Libyan crisis. They stressed the need to “continue strengthening the constructive national dialogue, with the participation of all political forces in order to ensure the unity and sovereignty of the Libyan state.”

In February, Bathily announced a new initiative to speed up the political process, prompting the two legislative bodies, the House of Representatives (HoR) and the High State Council (HSC), to set up a committee to look at electoral laws.

Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The county has for years been split between rival administrations, each backed by rogue militias and foreign governments.

The current stalemate grew out of the failure to hold elections in December 2021, and the refusal of Prime Minister Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba, who is leading the transitional government, to step down. In response, the country’s eastern-based Parliament appointed a rival Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, who has sought to install his government in Tripoli for months.