Dakar Dialogue, an African initiative
At a meeting in Dakar from 11 to 13 May 2018, the Foundation brought together Libyans from across the political spectrum to start an intra-Libyan dialogue. This dialogue was designed to promote rapprochement and reconciliation among the Libyans themselves, which is vital if international negotiations on a political settlement are to succeed.
Senegal, a diplomatic force
The role of Senegal in the success of the meeting was important as an independent and democratic country made of an important Muslim component, with long-standing ties to Libya, yet untainted by the issues that affect most of Libya’s immediate neighbours.
Outcomes of the first dialogue
- The preparation took many months of track II diplomacy (backchannel), involving meetings with Libyans across the political spectrum. It is a complicated picture in which internal divisions are exacerbated by the involvement of a variety of external actors in the Arab world, Europe and the USA.
- The meeting was held under the auspices of H.E Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal. President Macky Sall and Moustapha Niasse, President of the National Assembly and former UN Special Representative, acted as facilitators.
- It was not a negotiating meeting – that is for the UN and others.
- The real success of the meeting was the crucial psychological progress made towards reconciliation, whereby for the first time bitter opponents sat down together, worked together, ate together, prayed together and began to build a degree of trust.
- The Foundation continues to work on a Dakar II dialogue.