Sweihli Vows to Expand the Fighting Beyond Tripoli, Calls for UN Envoy to Resign and Leave Libya – Al Marsad

Abdulrahman Al-Sweihli in recent interview on pro-Muslim Brotherhood channel based in Istanbul, Libya Al-Ahrar, calls for the UNSMIL envoy Ghassan Salamé to resign and leave Libya, following the last UN Security Briefing where the head of UNSMIL said that the Tripoli-based government had to be freed from the control by armed groups. 

[Libya, 8 August 2019] – Former Chairman of the consultative High Council of State (HCS), and incumbent representative for the city of Misrata at the HCS, Abdulrahman Al-Sweihli, stated that the solution to the ongoing battle with “criminal Haftar,” derogatively referring to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA), cannot be political in any way.

In a recent interview with the pro-Muslim Brotherhood, Libya Al-Ahrar satellite TV channel based in Istanbul, Sweihli said that he will not accept to sit or negotiate with Haftar under any circumstances. The former HCS chairman said, “When you sit with Haftar, you reward him after all the heinous crimes he has committed.”

Ignoring the advances achieved by the Libyan National Army (LNA) troops on all frontlines of the capital, and which now cover over 86% of Libyan territory, Sweihli said: “The gangs of Haftar have not been able to advance one meter since our forces confronted them, and embarked on defeating them on the sixth of April. All the locations where these gangs are stationed south of Tripoli had been infiltrated, without clashes, with assistance provided by the Al-Kaniyat gangs (of Tarhouna) which betrayed and violated all pledges and alliances.”

Armed militias control the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord.

“Our troops are achieving victories every day, and I assure you that the battle against Haftar gangs will expand beyond the frontlines of southern Tripoli in the next few days. This criminal, and the axis of evil supporting him, will then realize that their calculations were wrong,” speculated Swehli.

Sweihli criticized Ghassan Salamé, Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), for alleged bias towards the LNA, particularly after his last Security Council briefing, which he said was “full of fallacies”, as he claimed, demanding that the UN envoy to Libya resign and depart the country “after losing his credibility as a neutral intermediary,” as he put it.

UN envoy Salamé in his briefing to 28 EU foreign ministers in New York that they “need to free the [Tripoli-based GNA] government from the control of armed groups.” Salamé’s comments of course reflect the reality in the current political situation in Tripoli, yet his words caused strong criticism from the firebrand Islamist cleric, Sadiq Gharyani to leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, calling for the resignation of the UNSMIL head over the remarks.  

Abdulrahman Al-Sweihli said: “I informed Salamé as well as the diplomatic corps in the country that although our national borders are violated, and our country is suffering from blatant foreign interference in its internal affairs, we will not allow the remaining sovereignty and dignity of the Libyans to be further violated or compromised.”

© Al Marsad English. 2019.