GNA’s Mohamed Siala Meets with Iranian Minister Javad Zarif in Japan – Al Marsad

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met on Tuesday with the Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation at the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Mohamed Taher Siala. The meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the International Conference on African Development in the Japanese city of Yokohama, is the first high-ranking public meeting in years between the top diplomat of the Islamic Republic of Iran and a sovereign portfolio minister at the UN-backed Tripoli Government of National Accord (GNA).

[Libya, 27 August 2019] – According to a news dispatch by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the meeting between Zarif and Siala was held in the city of Yokohama, Japan. Both ministers are participating in the works of the International Conference on African Development.

During this meeting, the GNA Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation discussed with his Islamic Republic’s counterpart bilateral relations and the latest developments in Libya, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry. In contrast, the GNA Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation did not publish any news about his meeting with Zarif although GNA media outlets referred to Siala’s meetings with other delegates.

The meeting comes at a time when other Presidential Council’s officials repeatedly declared that they have the right to seek support from any side because they consider that the International Community has let them down in their conflict against the Libyan National Army (LNA).

The Iranian Foreign Ministry published a number of photos that covered the meeting and talks between Siala and Zarif. The setting of the published photos indicates that its possible that the meeting was held at the official diplomatic mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.

The high-level meeting comes amid an unprecedented tension in relations between Iran and the United States, and the majority of the GCC countries, on the one hand, and a coolness in the relationship between the Tripoli-based Presidential Council and the US Administration of President Donald Trump, on the other. Trump described Iran yesterday at the meeting of the G7-Africa Partnership Summit held in Biarritz, France, as the sponsor of terrorism in the world.

At the end of last April, controversy erupted in Libya over an Iranian cargo ship that arrived in Misrata seaport loaded with an unknown cargo of missiles. The Attorney General of Tripoli impounded the Iranian vessel at the key western Libya seaport. Although the GNA Ministry of the Interior vowed at that time to announce the results of the investigation, the entire case however went into limbo after four month of the alleged inquiry.

It is noteworthy that Ahmed Maitiq, Vice-Chairman of the Tripoli-based Presidential Council, called on the Administration of the US President Donald Trump to correct its attitude towards Tripoli, saying that the US President is working in Libya in the wrong direction, in an interview with the Washington Times published in mid-August.

@ Al Marsad English (2019)