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Libya’s rival groups agree on choosing sovereign positions

Delegates from Libya’s two rival administrations have announced that the second round of talks culminated on criteria to select the heads of sovereign positions in the country.

The dialogue, which began in the Moroccan city of Bouznika in September, has five participants from the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli, and five from the House of Representatives (HoR) based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Idris Omran, a member of the HoR delegation, called on the international community to support the negotiation process in Bouznika.

Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed, reporting from Tripoli, said: “The question now is whether this agreement will be implemented.”

The delegations also agreed to implement Article 15 of the Sukhairat Agreement, which was also signed by Libyan rivals in Morocco in 2015.

The article stipulates that the House of Representatives and the GNA must “reach a consensus on the occupants of the leadership positions of the following sovereign positions: Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, President of the Audit Bureau, Head of the Administrative Control Authority, Head of the Anti-Corruption Agency, and President And members of the High Commission for Elections, the President of the Supreme Court, and the Attorney General”.

In a statement, Omran said the two delegations will continue their “consultative meetings in Morocco to ensure the end of the transitional phase”.

The first round of talks in Bouznika was held at the beginning of last month at the initiative of Morocco, which hosted the United Nations-backed peace talks in Sukheirat in 2015.

Those talks resulted in the parties to the conflict reaching a political agreement in which the GNA was formed.

Libya has been witnessing violence and a power struggle since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.

In April 2019, renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive to seize control of Tripoli, the GNA’s seat of power.

Haftar was beaten back earlier this year by the Turkish-backed GNA forces and fighting has now stalled around the central city of Sirte, the gateway to Libya’s eastern oilfields and export terminals.

The two sides announced a ceasefire last August, and in early September “consultations” between Libyans in Montreux, Switzerland, resulted in an agreement on organising elections within 18 months.

Negotiations also began in Egypt between military representatives from both sides at the end of last September, paving the way for a permanent ceasefire.

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