The 'Africa Intelligence' publication revealed secret talks in Dubai between representatives of Government of National Unity Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba and representatives of Libyan Arab Armed Forces commander, Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
According to the publication, Dabaiba will appoint a number of Haftar's representatives to key ministerial positions, if an agreement is reached between the two parties.
The report added that Dabaiba is determined to remain at the head of the executive authority, noting that Haftar's son (Saddam) traveled to Dubai to negotiate with Dabaiba's envoy on several key positions in a modified future government.
Dabaiba's attempt to break up the Bashagha alliance
According to the report, Dabaiba is trying to dismantle the coalition of parliament approved Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha, at a time when Dabaiba is facing increasing military pressure around Tripoli.
It pointed to the appointment of Farhat Bengdara, as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Oil Corporation, who was described as “a close advisor" to Marshal Haftar. The report allegedes Dabaiba pledged to provide several key ministerial positions for the Haftar camp, in exchange for him remaining at the head of the executive authority.
What ministries does Haftar's camp want?
Africa Intelligence quoted its own sources as saying that a very secret round of negotiations took place in Dubai from July 20 to 23, to try to reach an agreement that would allow Haftar's camp to appoint ministers of finance, planning, defense and possibly foreign affairs. As well, and in particular, the two deputy prime ministers representing Cyrenaica (east) and Fezzan (south).
The report added that this will be a command of much greater power than what Haftar previously obtained within the Bashagha government, which is still officially supported by Haftar.
Who is sponsoring these talks and who is participating in them?
Africa Intelligence said that these talks happened under the auspices of the Emirati intelligence services, which have been trying in vain for months to promote the Dabaiba-Haftar deal.
The envoy of the Prime Minister, Muhammad Adel Jumaa and his advisor, Ahmed al-Sharkasi, one of his relatives, attended.
The two borrowed the Airbus A340 presidential plane, which is usually dedicated to Dabaiba or to the head of the Presidential Council, Muhammad Menfi.
Haftar was represented by his son, Saddam Haftar, who according to some sources was acting on his own initiative. He was flanked by the Dubai-based Libyan, Ahmed Al-Oshaibi, who is sometimes referred to as "the financier of Haftar's sons".
Al-Oshaibi is a central figure in the economic and monetary system of eastern Libya and exercises an indirect, but significant, influence over several commercial banks in Cyrenaica.
The report says that Al-Oshaibi's presence at the negotiating table is explained by "the urgent financial needs of the Libyan National Army, which must find a way to repay billions of dinars borrowed from banks in the east of the country, while also being able to pay the bills of the Wagner Group, the Russian paramilitary group that supports the army." Therefore, Haftar’s representatives are focused on the ministries of finance and planning.
The negotiations did not lead to a tangible agreement but the eastern camp wanted to make its presence felt for Dabaiba, reminding him of their ability to cause trouble in the heart of the capital, Tripoli.
The report stated that the recent clashes in the capital have undermined Dabaiba's promise to maintain peace in the city.
It also expects that the armed groups supporting Dabaiba would try to become independent from him, if he allied himself with Haftar, since these groups see that any "alliance with Haftar is a red line."