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Arab Media Reports Some Key Breakthroughs in Moroccan Libya Talks

Libya Map
Libya Map

Rival Libyan political leaders held joint talks Thursday in Morocco and Egypt amid reports of some breakthroughs over key issues, including elections and uniting rival governments.

Arab media reported breakthroughs on several key points during talks between rival Libyan political leaders outside the Moroccan capital, Rabat. It was not clear if any of the breakthroughs would last into further negotiations in Geneva next week.

Khaled al-Mishri, the Islamist head of the Council of State in Tripoli, told Al Jazeera TV Wednesday, "We cannot say that the (Morocco meetings) are … real dialogue sessions so far. Rather, they are preliminary consultations for the start of the dialogue."

Libya analyst and political writer Abdel Basset Ben Hamill said the Moroccan talks were not expected to follow the same track as the upcoming Geneva talks, and in any case, “There is absolutely no talk about disbanding militias and making mercenaries leave the country."

Libya is currently divided between eastern and western governments locked in a military stalemate.

Arab League deputy head Hossam Zaki stressed in a press conference in Cairo that Libya negotiations will not be easy.

He said that in all honesty, the Libya dossier is going to require the goodwill of all sincere parties who want to get the country out of this impasse.

Arab League head Ahmed Aboul Gheit condemned Turkey for interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries, after a meeting in Cairo to discuss the Libya situation.

He said that Arab states widely oppose Turkish interference. He argued that Arab states must combat this kind of interference so that they don't become a battleground for internecine conflicts.

Turkey backs the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord based in Tripoli and has provided military support for its forces.

While it was not clear if any of the discussions in Morocco included binding agreements, members of both delegations told Arab media that one of the key points of agreement was to "divide positions in the ruling Council of State from among (Libya's) three geographic regions."

Libyan media also reported that negotiators in Switzerland, where talks are due to get underway on September 17, have agreed that elections must be held by December 2021 based on a mutually acceptable constitutional framework.