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After Morocco, UNSMIL political dialogue to move to Algeria

Following this week’s session of the UN-brokered dialogue in Morocco, due to start on Thursday, the 23 Libyan political participants will then head to Algeria early next week for a further meeting.

As in the case of Moroccan meeting, the precise location has not been announced. Security is thought to be the reason.

According to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the Algerian session will then be followed later in the week with a round of discussions in Brussels involving representatives from a number of Libyan municipalities.

It is not known if the political delegates will participate in this second round. Last time, when the municipal representatives met in Geneva, they were joined by the political delegates.

UNSMIL also says it will convene a separate meeting bringing together tribal leaders and other social groups.

The decision to host a meeting in Algeria following that in Morocco is seen as a diplomatic gesture by the UN, taking into account the deep rivalry between the two countries. Last year, Algerian efforts to pursue its own mediation in Libya came to nothing and it has since swung its support behind the UN dialogue.

That line was reconfirmed on Sunday in a meeting in Algiers between Algerian Minister for Maghreb and African Affairs Abdelkader Messahel and Italy’s Special Envoy (and ambassador) to Libya Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi, and again yesterday in talks in the Algerian capital between the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry and the US delegation led jointly by Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson.

“Algeria has a role to play in the dialogue”, Sharif Al Wafi, one of the political delegates told the Libya Herald this evening.

He added that although he and others were aware of the meeting in Algeria, they not yet been officially informed by UNSMIL.

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