LIAS Open Letter to Salamé: Presidential Council’s Agreements with Turkey are Void – Al Marsad

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies, Dr. Aref Ali Nayed, dispatched early morning today, Thursday, an urgent letter to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Libya, Dr. Ghassan Salamé, on the latest Presidential Council’s signing of agreements and MOUs with the Republic of Turkey.

[Libya, 28 November 2019] – In the letter signed by its Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Aref Ali Nayed, the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) called on the Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to intervene and consider the signing of such agreements and MOUs as void since the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA) has never been elected by the Libyan people, and has never been sworn in before the sole legitimate parliament in the country, the Libyan House of Representatives (HoR). Furthermore, the LIAS letter stated that the aforementioned agreements are also void because the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord does not represent the free will of the Libyan people. Al Marsad publishes below an exclusive English translation of LIAS’s Open Letter to the Head of the UNSMIL:



His Excellency Dr. Ghassan Salamé

Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Libya

Your Excellency,

Further to our best greetings,

Further to our previous open letters to the esteemed UNSMIL, particularly our letter dated 4 August 2019, the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS), hereby, resubmits its proposal requesting to seriously and urgently consider the withdrawal of the UN recognition of the Presidential Council and its Government of National Accord, before further implicating Libya and the Libyan people in void agreements and MOUs with Turkey and others, for several reasons; the most important of which are the following:

  1. The Presidential Council is not elected, and has not been appointed or endorsed by an elected body. It does not reflect the will of the people, which is the basis of legitimacy.
  2. The Presidential Council has twice failed to win the vote of confidence of the members of the elected legislative body, the Libyan House of Representatives, for its government. Moreover, the members of the Government of National Accord have not been sworn in before the elected Libyan House of Representatives.
  3. The Presidential Council has lost all the lawsuits proceeded against it in the Libyan courts, which, in several cases, ruled that the Presidential Council has no legal capacity, and that its decisions, actions, and procedures are all void and invalid, and thus are considered economic crimes that do not fall into statute of limitation.
  4. The Presidential Council has lost many of its members through either resignations or boycotting. The decisions of the Presidential Council are supposed to be collective; thus it has lost its legal status as an entity by losing most of its members.
  5. According to the Skhirat Libyan Political Agreement (which has never been included in the Constitutional Declaration), the tenure of the Presidential Council is for one year renewable for another year at most. Notwithstanding, the Presidential Council has almost completed its fourth year of monopolizing power without any legal or consensual basis.
  6. The Presidential Council exercises its effective authority on less than 2% of the Libyan territories, and less than 1% of Libya’s natural resources and wealth. Yet it takes advantage of the international recognition to control 100% of the Libyan people’s financial resources by fully acquiring the international signatures of the Central Bank of Libya through its Governor who has been twice dismissed by the Libyan House of Representatives, and exceeded his stipulated term in office by years.
  7. The Presidential Council has unlawfully, and without any endorsement or authorization by the Parliament, spent, squandered, and seized the public funds of the Libyan state.
  8. The Presidential Council has been involved in using the public funds of the Libyan people to finance terrorist groups such as the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, and the Derna Shura Council, and others.

On this day, the 28th of November 2019, this Presidential Council once again dared, without the approval of the Libyan House of Representatives, to sign dubious and ambiguous bilateral agreements and treaties with the Republic of Turkey—documents that are vague in their content and suspicious in their consequences. The civilian and military delegates of the Presidential Council arrived in Turkey to exercise an unjust guardianship on the Libyan people by signing documents that have not been reviewed or ratified by the elected Libyan Parliament.

Entangling Libya in the so-called security arrangements with Turkey, and involving our country in complicated maritime border issues affecting several countries in our region, including our brotherly Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Cyprus, and the Republic of Greece, without any constitutional or legislative basis, pose a grave danger to the national security of Libya and to the security of its neighboring countries, and burden the future generations of Libyans with consequences and responsibilities. Consequently, no council or government that has not been elected, or that has never gained the vote of confidence from the elected Parliament, has the right to involve the Libyan people in such agreements, treaties, and MOUs.

In view of the above, it is time for the United Nations to apply international standards for the recognition of executive powers to the Presidential Council and its Government of National Accord. If those standards were actually applied, it would be clear to everyone that this Presidential Council is a de facto government; its status in reality has collapsed; thus, it is high time to withdraw the international recognition.

Withdrawing the international recognition would put an end to the ongoing process of entangling an entire people, stopping the despotic actions and unjust squandering of the resources of the Libyan people by a party that lacks any legal or constitutional ground to govern, according to the rulings of the Libyan judiciary.

We hope that the Arab League and the African Union will be proactive in withdrawing their recognition of this tyrannical and futile council that is wasting the capabilities of the Libyan people.

We also inform Your Excellency that we will send this proposal to the Presidency of the Libyan House of Representatives, the legislative body that was elected by the Libyan people; the body that has the sovereign and sole legitimacy, hoping that it will be supported by the Parliament and formally presented to your esteemed mission by the legislative body of the country.

Kindly accept our highest esteem and appreciation for taking this proposal into consideration sooner rather than later.

Dr. Aref Ali Nayed

Chairman of the Board of Directors

Libya Institute for Advanced Studies

Fwehat, Benghazi, Libya