UN delegate to Libya Ghassan Salame launches action plan to end stalemate
The UN delegate to Libya , Ghassan Salame, set out an “action plan” on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York that proposes amending a 2015 peace deal that quickly stalled.
Salame, who took up his post in August, proposed reducing the unwieldy GNA Presidency Council to three members and having it then nominate a new transitional government.
“The action plan was not designed by me, but by the Libyans. They want an inclusive process, a way forward which clearly defines stages and objectives,” he said.
Salame said the drafting of the plan would begin next week before the convening of a national conference for all key Libyan actors to join the political process.
Securing changes to the 2015 deal would need the approval of a barely functional eastern-based parliament.
The European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions on the head of that parliament, Agila Saleh, accusing him of stalling Libya’s political process.
A delegation from the eastern parliament is expected to start negotiating with members of its Tripoli-based rival assembly. They are under pressure to reach an agreement before Dec. 17, when opponents of the 2015 deal say it expires.
Salame, who appeared to suggest a new calendar of a year for the process, must also balance calls for new elections with the need to prepare a legal framework in which they can take place.
Elections would require an electoral law, and possibly a referendum, to endorse a new constitution. In 2014, elections were challenged, leading to a major escalation of conflict and the division of Libya’s key institutions.
France, Britain and Italy, who have all at some point tried to assert their influence in recent weeks, said they were fully on board with Salame’s plans.
“We must be united behind the roadmap. Our collective credibility is at stake in Libya,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said.