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Haftar Visits Rome, Parliament Discusses Implementation of the Skhirat Amendment

Haftar Visits Rome, Parliament Discusses Implementation of the Skhirat Amendment

Wednesday, 13 December, 2017 - 13:45
Then-General Khalifa Haftar speaks during a news conference at a sports club in Abyar, east of Benghazi May 21, 2014. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

While the election file prevailed over the political scene in Libya on Tuesday, Italy considered that the Skhirat agreement, signed in Morocco under UN auspices two years ago, does not end by December 17, the deadline previously set by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army.

Haftar, who continued on Tuesday his second official visit to Rome, has agreed with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano that holding the elections was necessary and that next Sunday would mark the anniversary of the Skhirat agreement, not its expiry date, as reported by Italy’s AKI news agency.

The same agency quoted Alfano as saying that the election is a “train the destination of which has been determined, and the only question that remains on the table is the speed of this train,” referring to the date of the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.

UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame has stated in his proposed roadmap that September would be the deadline for holding the elections. Alfano and Haftar also agreed to support the UN envoy’s efforts to reach a political solution to the Libyan crisis. Haftar arrived in Rome on Monday for his second visit to Italy this year.

On a different note, the head of the Libyan Parliament, Aguila Saleh, chaired an official session in the city of Tobruk, east of the country, to discuss the amendment of the constitutional declaration and take practical measures to implement the proposal approved by parliament last month on amending the Skhirat agreement.

Ahead of the meeting, Saleh met with the head of the Electoral Commission, Imad Sayeh, where the discussion focused on the upcoming electoral process in Libya.

Salameh on Tuesday said that he did not call for holding the elections, “but to start work on securing the conditions necessary for the elections.”

“This requires long months of work to secure the legislative, technical, political and security conditions,” he told representatives of the municipal council in Gharyan.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International accused European governments of being “knowingly complicit in the torture and abuse of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants detained by Libyan immigration authorities in appalling conditions in Libya.”

In a report published on Tuesday, the organization said that hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants trapped in Libya were at the mercy of officials, militias, armed groups and smugglers “often working seamlessly together for financial gain.”

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