Moroccan neutrality and vital diplomacy in the Libyan civil war make it an obvious candidate to mediate a sustainable peace agreement in Libya.
Rabat – Sources in Libya have confirmed that the first steps towards a possible peace agreement will be organized in Switzerland and Morocco. The sources confirm earlier reports that both sides had met with Moroccan diplomats in early August and that Morocco is poised to facilitate renewed negotiations. No official details have been published yet, but Libyan officials told Anadolu Agency that Morocco is already facilitating dialogue.
According to the anonymous officials, “meetings are currently underway” in Morocco to broker a sustainable peace agreement in the lingering Libyan crisis. They stated that committees representing both sides are already having meetings in Morocco, according to Anadolu. In addition, senior leadership of both sides of the Libyan conflict are set to meet in Morocco at a yet unconfirmed date.
Morocco’s regional diplomacy
As a neutral side in the Libyan conflict, Morocco has played a key role in attempting to work out a durable political settlement to war-torn Libya’s post-Gaddafi mess. The 2015 Skhirat Agreement became a foundation for dialogue in the chaotic conflict. Although dialogue between the two sides was often unproductive, the new ceasefire established in Libya gives renewed hope for a peaceful resolution.
While Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), has called the Skhirat agreement “a thing of the past,” there are signs that he no longer commands the same dereference and reverence as before. Since his disappearance on August 19, the LNA has drastically changed course. Aguila Saleh Issa, the speaker of the LNA-aligned parliament appears to have emerged as the LNA’s top official. The under-reported change in leadership could easily lead to more productive diplomacy.
Yet some nagging obstacles to peace in Libya remain despite both sides’ visible flirting with peace and political settlement. Libyan officials are set to meet in Geneva in the coming days but cracks appear to have emerged in the LNA-aligned Supreme Council. Recent reports have revealed that members of the council currently in Morocco are having internal disagreements.
A statement by 24 members of the council expressed concern over the role of Chairman Khaled al-Misri who leads the diplomatic efforts in Morocco. The signatories to the statement argued that al-Misri dominated the negotiations in Rabat, overstepped his presidential powers, and expressed views not held by the other council members.
Morocco faces a tough task in bringing together the fractured sides in the conflict and realizing peace in Libya. But in a conflict with foreign backers on all sides, few countries are as prepared as Morocco to take on the difficult mission and hopefully realize peace for the people of Libya.