The Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj, has not accepted a deal reached between his Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq and Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, to lift the oil blockade, Bloomberg reported.
Maiteeq, who is often at odds with Sarraj, had made the agreement last week at a meeting in the Russian city of Sochi, with Haftar’s son and representatives from eastern Libya.
Maiteeq was meant to visit Sirte, a city held by Haftar, to sign the agreement on Friday but was blocked by other members of the GNA.
In an interview, Maiteeq had said he thought Sarraj would embrace the deal, but a senior aide, who cannot be named because of internal policy, denied that the Prime Minister supports the agreement.
Libya’s National Oil Corporation has also denounced what it called “parallel talks” in a statement published late on Thursday. The corporation reminded it would not lift force majeure until Russian mercenaries who support Haftar withdraw from oil installations.
Maiteeq said he wants the mercenaries out of the country too, but explained that the issue didn’t come up in the talks with the rival party. The agreement is meant to set up a commission to distribute oil revenues more fairly, a key demand made by Haftar and which led him to shut down the oil fields as his campaign to capture Tripoli — the western coast capital where Al-Sarraj’s GNA is based — flagged in January.
Sarraj announced earlier this week that he will step down by the end of October to make way for a new government, thus raising the stakes for rivals within his camp who want to replace him.
Haftar, whose forces control oil-rich eastern Libya, said on television that he has decided to allow the reopening of the nation’s ports “as per conditions and guarantees that ensure a fair distribution of wealth and spare it from being plundered or used in terrorism financing.” This announcement was the result of talks with Maiteeq.