Foreign Minister of the Interim Libyan Government Says Fayez Sarraj Lacks Will to Reach Political Solution – Al Marsad

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Interim Government, Abdulhadi al-Hweij, accused Qatar, Turkey and Iran of supporting armed militias in Tripoli with weapons and vehicles. He said that Western countries are fully aware that the Libyan National Army (LNA) is a disciplined military institution that includes all social components of the Libyan people.

[Libya, 17 June 2019] – In an interview with the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat Arabic newspaper, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Interim Government, Abdulhadi al-Huweij, said that the Turkish government believes that this is their opportunity to intervene in the affairs of the region by supporting Islamist groups in Libya. He said that this was a typical AKP-policy that Ankara has adopted in the region. Likewise, he said that Doha also aspires to be an influential power in the area by incubating Islamist groups and using them as pawns to further Qatari expansionist interests.

Speaking on the White House’s position on the battle for Tripoli, al-Huweij said he believes that the American administration listens to everyone and this is typical of how US policy develops. However, he thinks that “the Americans will not be swayed by false claims or distorted analysis of the actual facts on the ground and the dynamics of the conflict. They realize that the Libyan National Army (LNA) has marched on the capital to liberate it from terrorism and to impose stability.”

On the chances of resuming the political process in Libya, al-Huweij said that the interim government based in the East would welcome any proposals or initiatives as long as they take into consideration the interests of the Libyan people. He indicated, however, that the problem was that Fayez al-Sarraj and his supporting militias lack the seriousness necessary to pursue a political solution. He said that Fayez al-Sarraj was “hiding behind the militias. He almost turned into a spokesman for them. The whole world has witnessed this support,” al-Huweij told the London-based newspaper.

“There can be no substitute to the political process, but this operation must be preceded with the elimination of the armed militias. We cannot talk about elections and a democratic life as long as the current situation persists. We cannot accept dialogue with any party that supports or represents terrorism,” stressed al-Huweij.

Addressing Field Marshal Haftar’s recent trip to Russia, al-Huweij denied allegations that it was aimed at acquiring Russian military support for the Libyan National Army (LNA) in its battle to liberate Tripoli. He noted that Field Marshal Haftar has visited several countries, including the Russian Federation, to discuss and clarify Libya’s stance, not promises of weapons.

As for his position on Ghassan Salamé, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Libya, al-Huweij criticized the position of the head of UNSMIL and accused him of lacking objectivity after classifying the battle of Tripoli as an armed conflict and putting the parties to the conflict on an equal footing.

On the claims that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has recently fled to Libya,Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Interim Government said: “So far, there is no clear evidence to confirm his presence on Libyan territories. There are some indications, however, that he may be.” Al-Huweij pointed out LNA’s resolve to eradicate terrorism in southern Libya. “The LNA is determined to uproot terrorism from the South,” al-Huweij said, acknowledging some media reports on the ISIS leader issuing instructions to his terrorist comrades to carry out terrorist attacks against the LNA in the region.

He also discussed the situation in the eastern coastal city of Derna. Al-Huweij toured the city recently and assessed the situation on the ground. He noted that the city is recovering after its liberation in mid 2018 from the grip of terrorism and extremism. A recent suicide bombing that followed his visit to the city, specifically the detonation of two car bombs targeting an LNA unit in Derna, al-Huweij said that such acts of terror were proof that terrorists are determined to destroy everything that promotes coexistence of religions in Libya as a whole, and particularly Derna as a symbol of respect for faith traditions.

The Foreign Minister of the Interim Libyan Government dismissed allegations that the fate of the interim government and its rule in Libya are being held hostage by Field Marshal Haftar. he said, “the Libyan leadership will be determined by the will of the people through direct and fair elections. The ongoing fighting is not a personal battle; it is a battle for liberating the country’s capital. Therefore, the Interim Libyan Government stands with the Army. ”

@ Al Marsad English. 2019.