The head of Libya’s State Supreme Council, Abdulrahman al-Swehly said that international and regional actors have become convinced that “no party to the Libyan conflict can win or defeat the other.”
In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Swehly defended the UN plan to amend the Skhirat Agreement and to integrate militants and Islamic organizations into the political life, describing it as “a logical plan and a process that enjoys great consensus among the Libyan political parties.”
Commenting on the reduction of the members of the Presidential Council, according to the UN map, from nine to three, he said: “This is not a matter of disagreement, and will not be, because the practical and popular requirements dictate that.”
According to Swehli, the roadmap, announced by UN Special Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salameh, “is based on three important elements, characterized by a clear sequence for amending the political agreement (signed in the resort of Skhirat, Morocco, December 2015), completing constitutional reforms and ending the transitional period by holding elections in accordance with the new constitution.”
“According to this map, these elements will be dealt with under Article 12 of the Agreement, which states that the Supreme Council of the State and the Parliament are the institutions entrusted with the amendment of the Skhirat Agreement, and on this basis, we see it as a logical and practical plan,” he stated.
Asked about some objections to the second phase of the “international map”, which calls for holding a national conference to integrate the “marginalized” into the political process, Swehli said: “We, in the Supreme Council of the State, agree with Salameh on the importance of looking at the National Conference as an event that will end, not as a basis for a new situation that some fear. We believe that mobilizing support for any agreement before, during and after negotiations is necessary, and is one of the lessons that we learned from the Skhirat Agreement.”
As for the integration of militants and Islamic organizations into the political life, the Libyan official stressed that the political agreement signed in Skhirat described the integration and rehabilitation of members of armed factions as one of the priorities of the national reconciliation government.
“I do not think there is any disagreement about this. As for Islamic organizations or any other organizations that want to engage in the political process and abide by the democratic rules, they can help build a nation that everyone needs,” he noted.
Asked about foreign interference in the ongoing peace talks, Swehli said: “Fortunately, this time, international and regional actors have become convinced that no party to the conflict in Libya can win or cancel the other parties out. This has a positive impact on the dynamics of the scene.”
However, the Libyan official warned that although circumstances have become more favorable than ever before to reach a real consensus, some people might seek to obstruct the implementation of the plan.
“Some parties in the current authority are seeking to thwart the political process. The best way to mitigate this risk is to broaden political participation,” he said.
On the role of Italy in joining efforts to resolve the crisis in Libya, Swehli said: “I believe that Italy shares our view on the importance of concerted efforts at this critical stage in order to comply with the Security Council resolutions on Libya, the plan of action put forward by the UN envoy and the need to support his efforts to facilitate a settlement between the Libyan parties. We hope that these efforts will be in this direction.”