Speaker of the east-based Libyan parliament Aguila Saleh kicked off on Sunday an official visit to Cairo where he held talks with Egyptian, American and western officials as part of international and regional efforts aimed at reaching a political solution that prevents the eruption of a war over the strategic city of Sirte.
Informed Libyan sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that negotiations discussed the possibility of the formation of a new government to replace the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, which is headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, they said Saleh’s talks will focus on the American proposal to set up an arms-free zone in Sirte and resume oil production.
Negotiations had stressed the need to form a new government in Libya in line with Saleh’s previous suggestion to form a new Presidential Council, which would be comprised of a president and two deputies.
Saleh also discussed American and international pledges that GNA forces would not advance on Sirte and al-Jufra should the Libyan National Army (LNA) withdraw from them.
Such a pledge depends on the fair distribution of oil revenues and ensuring that they do not go to GNA militias or mercenaries that Turkey had flown in from Syria, added the sources.
The Libyan delegation held virtual talks in Cairo with US National Security Council Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa Major General Miguel Correa and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland.
Head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee Youssef al-Akoury, who was present at the talks, stressed the need to put an end to foreign meddling in Libyan affairs. He also underlined the importance of resuming oil production and that its revenues be fairly and transparently distributed.
The American delegation, for its part, stressed the important role played by the Libyan parliament in resolving the crisis seeing as it is the legitimate party in the political dialogue. It underscored the need for Libyans to work together to eliminate foreign presence in their country.