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Libya: Head of interim government calls for support for new authority

Head of the interim government in Libya, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh [Wikipedia]
Head of the interim government in Libya, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, 8 February 2021 [Wikipedia]

The head of the interim government in Libya, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, has called on all parties to support the new executive authority in order to end the conflict and prepare for democratic elections in December. Moreover, the Joint Military Committee (JMC) held new discussions on the terms of a ceasefire and agreed to initiate mine-clearing operations.

In a televised speech, Dbeibeh called on the Libyans to "rally around this government" with the aim of rebuilding the country. He expressed his readiness "to listen to everyone, work with all the parties who hold different ideas and belong to diverse groups, affiliations, and regions."

Dbeibeh affirmed his commitment to holding elections on democratic foundations, respecting the constitution, and developing relations with neighbouring countries to serve national interests, as well as achieving security and stability in the region.

Libya entered a new transitional phase on Saturday, the day after the election of a unified interim executive authority that must form a government and prepare for the national elections scheduled for December bringing to an end a decade of chaos. Dbeibeh, 61, was elected in Geneva on Friday as Prime Minister for the transitional period by participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) held in November among Libyan parties under UN auspices.

General Khalifa Haftar taking over Libya - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

General Khalifa Haftar taking over Libya – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Retired Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar welcomed the election of the new authority and expressed his hope that it will be able to implement the required measures for elections to be held at the end of the year.

Haftar's militia spokesman, Ahmed Al-Mesmari, gave a brief televised speech from the city of Benghazi, in which he congratulated the Libyan people on the outcomes of the LPDF and the selection of a new authority, composed of a Presidential Council and the head of a national unity government. "We congratulate the national personalities who were elected to fulfil the duties of head of the national government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, and the Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Manfi," he added.

READ: UN-led Libya forum elects new interim government

Earlier, the defeated candidates, including the speaker of the Tobruk parliament, Aguila Saleh, Minister of Interior of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fathi Bashagha, and Defence Minister Salah Al-Namroush, issued statements of support for the new government.

The JMC, meanwhile, told Al Jazeera that clearing mines will start from the city of Sirte. This confirmed that the committee has completed discussions on mechanisms for implementing the ceasefire provisions, the most important of which is opening the coast road between the east and west of Libya and evacuating mercenaries and foreign forces.

The committee reiterated its call to the UN Security Council and the countries of the Berlin Conference to put pressure on the countries interfering in Libya to withdraw their mercenaries immediately.

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