There has been growing international criticism of Libyan National Army general commander Khalifa Haftar following his speech on 17 December where he declared the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and its institutions expired. On 21 December, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Haftar and had ‘frank discussions’ for an hour, after which he told press that he told Haftar ‘there …

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On 17 December, a new joint statement was issued by the regional troika, Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria, reaffirming their full backing to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and the military unification process. A statement issued by the UN Security Council President on 15 December, as well as statements by the UN envoy Ghassan Salame throughout the last two weeks, maintain that the 17 December date was a ‘non-date’ and that the LPA remains the only legitimate political framework. On December 12, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with the GNA Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala in Moscow.

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On 10 December, Libyan military officers met in Cairo for the 4th round of the Libyan army unification talks. On December 4, Fayez al-Serraj and US Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin discussed the importance of continued cooperation between the U.S and Libya in countering the financing of terrorism.

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On 30 November, Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj met with Secretary of Defense James Mattis at the Pentagon to discuss defense relationships and regional security challenges. This included concerns about how ISIS and al-Qaeda are “taking advantage of ungoverned spaces in Libya to establish sanctuaries for plotting inspiring and directing terrorist attacks.” Serraj said he was …

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AFRICOM confirmed that US forces conducted two airstrikes against ISIS targets near Fuqaha on 17 and 19 November. On 22 November, the Egyptian air force said that it destroyed 10 vehicles attempting to smuggle arms and ammunition through Libya’s western border into Egypt. The Anti Terror Quartet countries added more Libyan nationals to its ‘terrorist’ list.

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On 18 November, the head of the GNA, Fayez al-Serraj, held a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan in Libya. During the meeting Serraj requested the US continue supporting Libya by helping to “sufficiently” arm its anti-terror organizations. Salame said joint tribunals may be one solution to address lawlessness and impunity in Libya.

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On 9 November, Mustafa al-Imam, a suspect in the September 2012 attack against the US Special Mission in Benghazi entered a plea of not guilty to terrorism-related charges in the US District Court. President Sisi claims ISIS fighters are entering Egypt through Libya as the Egyptian military claims it destroyed 10 vehicles carrying weapons from Libya. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda promised to seek new arrest warrants in Libya if war crimes continue.

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On 1 November, British police issued an arrest warrant for Hasham Abedi, the brother of the Manchester bomber. Rada is holding him and said they might cooperate. Law suits for war crimes are being filed against Haftar and his family in the US, while Haftar has hired a Washington lobbyist to improve his image.

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US Special Operations forces captured 2012 Benghazi Special Mission attack suspect Mustafa al-Imam in Misrata on 29 October. It is reported that Imam was flown to a US Navy vessel and will be transported to the US to face federal prosecution for his alleged involvement in the 2012 attack. On 30 October, the third round of ‘Libyan-Libyan’ meeting between LNA and Misrata military officers was held in Cairo as part of the talks to reunify the Libyan army.

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On 22 October, the second batch of meetings in the UN-facilitated Libyan political talks concluded without setting a plan or agenda for the next gathering. Salame insists that in spite of controversy over ‘bottle neck’ issues, there was progress made in the latest discussions. On 23 October, the Egyptian military reported that its air force struck a convoy of eight vehicles carrying munitions near Egypt’s western border with Libya.

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On 15 October, the UN Support Mission in Libya’s (UNSMIL) new Joint Drafting Committee, including members of both the House of Representatives (HoR) and the High Council of State (HCS), met again in Tunis to negotiate amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). In particular, they debated the final draft articles concerning the appointment of the Prime Minister (PM), the Government and the new Presidential Council (PC).

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Ghassan Salame met with the Khalifa Haftar, in Benghazi on 5 October, a day after the UN representative met with Ageelah Saleh, leader of the HoR. Following the meeting Salame confirmed that Haftar has stated his support for the new UN roadmap for Libya. UNSC affirms that it “Endorses the UN’s Action Plan for the resumption of an inclusive Libyan-owned political process. Prior to this announcement, the UNSC extended its authorization to seize vessels suspected of smuggling and human trafficking through Libya until fall of 2018.

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On 26 September, US Africom conducted ‘two precision airstrikes’ against ISIS fighters some 160 kilometres southeast of Sirte, killing an unspecified number of ISIS fighters. On 30 September, the UN’s Joint Drafting Committee declared it had reached the first set of agreements on amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) in Tunis, as Haftar visited senior officials in Italy and France.

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On 20 September, Salame outlined the proposed new UN roadmap for Libya at a high level meeting on Libya at UNGA. The roadmap consists of a 3 stage process: limited amendments to the LPA, a National Congress Conference of all Libyan actors to agree and endorse the new government and constitutional amendments, and finally a referendum and elections.

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On 15 September, the UN Security Council issued resolution 2376 extending the UNSMIL mandate for another year. On 14 September, UN envoy Ghassan Salame briefed the foreign ministers of America, Italy, the UAE, Egypt and France in London at the talks organized by the British FM. LNA Commander Haftar met with Congolese President, Denis Sassou Nguesso; Tunisian President, Beji Caid Essebsi; and US ambassador to Libya, Peter Bodde.

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On 5 September, Italy’s Interior Minister Marco Minitti visited LNA Commander Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi just a day after the French FM Jean-Yves Le Drian completed his tour of Libya. The new UNSMIL chief Ghassan Salamé is said to be frustrated by the succession of independent bilateral attempts to broker a solution to Libya’s crises, particularly ahead of the UN General Assembly’s meeting on Libya on 20 September.

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