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UNSMIL dialogue heads back to Ghadames

Delegates to the UNSMIL-brokered dialogue talks will fly in to Ghadames on Wednesday for a one-day session and then fly out the same day, the Libya Herald has been told.

According to one of the delegates, the lack of accommodation and security issues were reasons for the short stay. Additionally, the meeting in Ghadames, location of the first UNSMIL-brokered dialogue in September, is said to be largely symbolic.

Delegates from the reconstituted General National Congress had refused to join in the talks in Geneva, insisting that they be held in Libya. Those who took part in the Geneva process, while happy to meet in the country, providing a secure location could be guaranteed, were not prepared to be seen cowing to Congress’ demands and so went back to Geneva for their second session 11 days ago. However, once there they agreed that the next session should be in Libya.

According to a statement from UNSMIL issued today, a “parallel” meeting, which is thought to be the one at which more serious negotiations will occur, will take place back in Geneva “later this week”.

The UNSMIL statement, which added that there would be “preparatory meetings involving commanders of armed groups” also taking place this week, did not mention the place or time of the Libya meeting, however. “The specific venue and exact timing of this round”, it said, “are subject to the completion of the logistical and security preparations”.

It is believed that the delegation from Congress will turn up to Ghadames. However, there are unconfirmed reports that the Benghazi HoR member Abubakr Baira and another delegate are now threatening to boycott the dialogue because of opposition to the presence of Congress members.

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