Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Algeria’s Minister for Maghreb, African Union and Arab League Affairs Abdelkader Messahel on 6 August, on the sidelines of the New Suez Canal’s inauguration.
During the meeting, the two ministers discussed the need to implement the United Nations agreement in Libya.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) announced that a second round of dialogue will be convened on 10 August.
An initial agreement between Libyan factions, notably the Tobruk-based internationally recognised government and the Islamist government residing in Tripoli, was signed earlier in July. However, key representatives from the Tripoli-based government were absent.
The UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, said then that “the door remains open for those who chose not to be here today”.
The agreement entailed outlining a unity government, but certain details and the annexes remain for final negotiations.
Shoukry and Messahel discussed the agreement’s importance, and also noted that in case of the negotiations’ failure, it is important to “determine responsibilities and impose sanctions against those obstructing the path of negotiations in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations”.
The turmoil in Libya has been ongoing since 2011, with the country now witnessing political divisions after Islamists took control of a number of cities across the nation. These included the capital, Tripoli, and the ousting of the internationally-recognised interim government led by Abdullah Al-Thinni.
Al-Thinni’s government was relocated in August 2014 to the city of Beyda, despite it still being known as the Tobruk-based government.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the fighting in Libya “has provoked a growing displacement crisis”. The number of people displaced has almost doubled from an estimated 230,000 last September to more than 434,000 currently.