Libya rivals in Cairo to discuss political settlement
Feb 17 2017 by Desiree Burns
Speaking to Saudi Arabia's Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, al-Sarraj said that Khalifa Haftar - who leads military forces loyal to Tobruk - and Akila Saleh - speaker of the assembly - had both rejected offers to hold talks in the Egyptian capital on Tuesday.
"Intransigent political stances and oversized egos" were preventing a resolution to the conflict, he said.
The only positive result apart from the agreed parliamentary elections in 2018 was the agreement on a committee to be comprised of 15 members each from the HoR and the State Council which would look at changing the Libyan Political Agreement.
Serraj's government has failed over the past year in unifying Libya, which slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Moammar Gadhafi.
The planned meeting, al-Sarraj added, had been meant to tackle outstanding differences between the Tobruk-based parliament and al-Sarraj's unity government, based in capital Tripoli.
The controversial head of the self-styled Libyan National Army has established himself as a key player, especially after seizing the country's key oil terminals in September.
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MENA also said that the leaders agreed to "form a joint committee of the Libyan Parliament and the High Council of State to examine issues agreed upon for amendment in the political accord" signed in Morocco in 2015 and also "to reach a consensus on a draft to send to parliament for approval".
United Nations envoy Martin Kobler last week said talks had made progress on "possible amendments" to the political agreement, and notably on Haftar's future role.
Libyan media reported that Sarraj and Haftar did not meet face to face during the talks in Cairo.
However, sources confirmed General Haftar refused to attend a press conference, suggesting it was not part of the agreed plan.
Haftar's rivals accuse him of wanting to establish a military dictatorship in Libya.