On Wednesday the ‘Preparatory Committee for the Second Sirte Conference’ issued a statement announcing that the talks will be held next Saturday to present a political roadmap for the country. This will be a serious attempt to form a national reference, and a new charter for Libya.
The statement explained that the second Sirte Conference comes from the “Historical and political responsibility towards Libya, and in view of the current political, economic, social and societal conditions. This is in light of attempts to divide, fragment and plunder the country’s wealth, and control its capabilities.”
It affirmed that the conference will be attended by more than 1,000 representatives, from over fifty Libyan cities. The conference is organised in a way to ensure all segments of society are represented, with a view to work together in establishing a new civil democratic state. The statement also called on the international community to exert greater efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis.
It indicated that the conference is an attempt to constitute a political road map for all regional, and international solutions. It aims to “end the state of chaos and fragmentation, achieve national unity, and independence of political decision-making and reject all foreign interventions.”
This will be an important testing ground for whether the Libyan parties can build on the political progress achieved thus far, and take another step closer to a permanent settlement. However, this approach will not be enough on its own, unless it receives adequate support from external stakeholders involved in the conflict.
The main challenge lies in convincing the international parties to take a social approach to protecting their interests, and those of domestic parties. It will also be challenging to support reconciliation, rather than resorting to military conflict.