GNA Chargé d’Affaires: Qatar and Turkey Help Us Face the LNA – Al Marsad

The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) chargé d’affaires of the Libyan Embassy in Qatar, Salem Mohammed Karim, admitted Qatar supports the GNA in establishing security and achieve stability in the country, he claimed.

[Libya, 10  April 2020] – In an interview with the Qatari newspaper, Asharq, on Thursday, Salem Mohammed Karim stated: “We regret Egypt’s lack of neutrality in the Libyan crisis and its support for an officer whose only concern is to seize and monopolize power.” He added, “To this end, Haftar spreads the allegation that the GNA has terrorists. The fact is that Haftar supported ISIS against the state in Sirte,” he claimed without mentioning the Syrian terrorists and mercenaries, wanted both locally and internationally, who are fighting in the ranks of the GNA militants today.

Karim called on the European Union (EU) to implement the arms embargo by land, sea, and air, alleging that restricting this to only maritime embargo targets the “legitimate and recognized” GNA, which has the right to enhance its defense capabilities to establish security throughout the country, as he put it.

Regarding the support that Qatar and Turkey provided to the GNA to stand against the Libyan armed forces advancing today inside the neighborhoods of Tripoli, Karim said: “The GNA, thanks to God and its support forces, has managed to prevent the advance of Haftar’s forces and has not allowed them to enter Tripoli so far. At the same time, it has managed to consolidate its relations with the brotherly and friendly countries. The GNA is the legitimate and recognized government entitled to sign treaties and memoranda of understanding (MOUs) and to buy weapons to defend itself. It is a legitimate government recognized by the United Nations and does nothing in secret. Through the support it received, it managed to stand in the way of this dictator’s ambitions.”

He continued his allegations, saying: “Qatar and Turkey have an effective and honorable role in standing by the legitimate government and supporting it to confront this criminal. I cannot help but thank and appreciate all the countries, notably Qatar and Turkey, which have been supporting the legitimate GNA and the Libyan people, striving for the stability of the people and the unity of the nation, spreading peace, and stopping bloodshed.”

Concerning the treaty signed between the GNA and Turkey, Karim considered that the GNA has the right to conclude agreements and MOUs and to request assistance from any country. “What happened with Turkey took place in public in front of the whole world and is not contrary to the law.”

He went on to say: “We sat down with the Egyptian Chief of Staff once and talked to him transparently. He promised that he would deliver what we asked to the competent authorities. However, it became clear that the Libyan crisis file in Egypt is handled by the Intelligence rather than the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Egypt’s interest is to have a good relationship with those controlling eastern Libya. Egypt has a strong influence on Haftar and can push him to sit down with the rest of the Libyans, but the argument of extremism that makes it stand with Haftar is incorrect. We are against extremism and against religious zealots opposing civil rule. We want stability for our country and we do not want ISIS to play any role in governing Libya.”

Regarding the EU military Operation Irini, Karim saw that the EU had not succeeded in this matter. He indicated that the GNA does not mind banning arms and demanded more than once to ban weapons acquired by Haftar (Field Marshal Haftar, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces), adding: “But if the EU monitors the arms embargo by the sea only, then I think this issue is shady and backs only one side against the other. They know that the GNA has no crossing other than the sea while Haftar receives support by land and air daily.”

The Tripoli-based GNA chargé d’affaires of the Libyan Embassy in Qatar indicated that the GNA Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke with the EU, protested against this operation, and demanded a comprehensive embargo by sea, air, and land, adding: “We know that behind this measure there is a group of countries seeking to settle their accounts with a group of other countries at Libya’s expense.”

© Al Marsad English (2020)

 

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