Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt have launched a new initiative that aims to reach a comprehensive political settlement in Libya.
“Tunis Declaration” was read out at a joint press conference in Tunis attended by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Algerian Minister for Maghreb, African and Arab Affairs Abdelkader Messahel, and Tunisian Foreign Minister Khamis Alaghinawa.
Alaghinawa said that the initiative was based on earlier proposals for resolving the crisis in Libya tabled by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.
The declaration included five points as follows:
1) That the three declaration signatories (Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt) would step up efforts to achieve comprehensive reconciliation in Libya through dialogue with all relevant parties and under the auspices of the UN.
2) That the three signatories recognize Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and believe that a political solution — based on the December 17, 2015 Skhirat agreement — represents the only way out of the country’s political crisis.
3) That the three signatories reject any military solution to — or external interference in — the Libya crisis, acknowledging that a viable settlement can only be achieved by the Libyan people themselves.
4) They also called for ensuring the continuity of Libyan state institutions as was stipulated in the 2015 agreement. These institutions include the Presidential Council, the House of Representatives and the Supreme Council of State. Signatories to the declaration also called for the preservation and unification of the Libyan Armed Forces in accordance with the 2015 agreement.
5) Signatories also called for convening a tripartite summit in Algiers devoted to the Libya crisis (for which no date was given) to be attended by Tunisian, Egyptian and Algerian representatives.
Since the Libyan Revolution in 2011 that overthrew the long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi, violence has spread in Libya among the different Libyan factions.
Two rival governments operate in Libya, with self-proclaimed authorities controlling the capital of Tripoli and adjacent western areas and an internationally recognized government, based in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk.
In an effort to resolve the political deadlock in Libya, a political agreement was signed in Skhirat, Morocco December 2015 known as the Skhirat Agreement, establishing a third government known as the Government of National Accord(GNA) which is supported by many western countries.
However,its formation has intensified the internal strife rather than resolving it. The (GNA) has so far failed to restore the country’s unity.
None of the governments has a complete dominance over Libya until now.