On Sunday, a Libyan politician close to decision-makers in his country revealed the details of meetings that took place less than one week ago in order to reach a process through which foreign fighters will be removed from Libya in preparation for the start of political process, under pressure from the United Nations and international powers. The basis of the process will be the international decisions related to the situation in Libya, as well as the outputs of the Berlin Conference and the gesture of the political transition announced by the president of the Libyan House of Representatives Aqila Saleh.
The source, which preferred not to be identified as he is not authorized to talk about the private details of the meetings, told North-Press that a joint military committee convened between the Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army under United Nations auspices a week ago in which they discussed the agreement for removing foreign fighters.
He continued: "Militarily, a Libyan-Libyan committee consisting of the two main groups (GNA and LNA), sponsored by the UN, was formed on the ground, from which a special team to remove foreign fighters emerged. Discussions are still ongoing, as the plan has just started, and the two groups made a positive, practical response...as soon as the coronavirus crisis ends, matters will come into effect."
The political source stressed that matters are moving in that direction now. Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar as the Libyan army's commander agreed to this, and during the committee's meetings he confirmed his commitment to its outputs. The other group represented by senior military leader General Ahmed Shahma expressed willingness to remove foreign fighters, whether Syrians, Turks, or others.
He stated that foreign fighters are essential in obstructing the political process and settlement efforts in Libya, and the main concern now is to remove them permanently before starting the political process. As a result of these understandings, the intensity of the clashes south of Tripoli decreased by 90%, because the ongoing clashes, despite their strength, are much less severe than they were a few months ago.
The political source stated that "the main goal now is to return to the political track. Today we have a full-fledged political initiative, which is the most mature, represented in the initiative of Chancellor Aqeila Salih, aimed at forming a government and a presidential council with a proposal to choose a person from each region in Libya. It is an initiative supported regionally and internationally by all relevant forces."
He noted that once a new presidential council is formed, it will review the agreements and memoranda of cooperation concluded in the transitional period, including the two agreements signed with Turkey on 18th November, 2019.
At the end of his conversation, the source told North-Press that if the fighting stops and the political transition begins, foreign fighters will stay in Libya, reducing the possibility of Turkey's influence on these potential understandings since there is international pressure and Turkey has no popular base in Libya.