Al-Mishri: We Do Not Want a New Dictator; Turkish Military Presence Will Remain – Al Marsad

The Muslim Brotherhood head of the State Council, Khaled al-Mishri, warned of the fragile nature of the ceasefire agreement and the possibility of its failure. In an interview to Qatar’s Al Jazeera channel, al-Mishri made a number of remarks on Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Turkish forces, the maritime agreement, on Najla al-Mangoush and relations with Egypt. 

(LIBYA, 30 May 2021) – Speaking about the dangers that could impede the holding of elections, Khalid al-Mishri in an interview to Qatar’s Al Jazeera channel said “security remains the biggest challenge and Haftar is the obstacle, and we need to see efforts from Western countries to persuade him to move away from the scene.” His comments referred to to the failure in opening the coastal road due to the presence of those he described as “foreign mercenaries.”


Al-Mishri added: “We cannot open the coastal road with the presence of such people, and on our side there are no foreign soldiers 200 kilometers west of the highway, and when we talk about foreign forces, we mean Turkish soldiers, they are not there.” He said, “Haftar and his forces have no control over the Wagner Group, nor can they do anything about it.”

“It is more appropriate to speak directly with Moscow, and we have dealt with this issue with the Russians, and I cannot say that we have made much progress,” said al-Mishri. But he said the issue is still “on the table”, and he said that he can confirm that the High Council of State supports the removal of Turkish forces, but only when the elections are held, stability is restored, and Haftar’s threat was removed.


Al-Mishri claimed that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the interim Government of National Unity (GNU), Najla al-Mangoush, came to her position position on the need for all foreign forces to leave in order to satisfy everyone, she was not well aware of the situation in Libya. He said that al-Mangoush did not know much about the complications on the ground.

He also indicated that the Turkish presence in Libya cannot be compared to other foreign forces. Because it is “legal and clear,” as he put it, while on the other side there are loose foreign forces that no one controls, even “Haftar” [The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar], as he claimed. He claimed the maritime agreement with Ankara was in the interest of the Libyan people and does not violate the Law of the Sea and the sovereignty of Greece. He failed however, to mention that that Libyan Parliament rejected the maritime agreement signed by Fayez al-Sarraj with Turkey and considers it illegal.


Al-Mashri, however, added, “Turkey will have a preferred position, but the country is large and the economic projects are many, but with the right government we can satisfy everyone.” He said relations with Egypt had improved since the formation of the new government, and claimed that previously Egypt was standing with the wrong side and that they they were looking for a strong ally to ensure security on their western borders. “.

According to al-Mishri’s view of things, Egypt was “under the impression that Haftar was their ally, but communications have broken the deadlock, and now we understand each other better; we realize that once we have good Egyptian-Turkish relations, this will reflect positively on Libya.”

Al-Mishri emphasized the great importance of holding a referendum on the draft constitution. Because implementing the elections without the referendum means bringing in a new president that may become “dictator”. He said if the referendum is not achieved, the implementation of a draft constitution approved by the State Council and the House of Representatives(HoR) could be amended 5 years.

At the recent Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), the Muslim Brotherhood block’s insistence on a referendum on the constitution brought severe condemnation from Libyan figures and the international community.