Dbaiba on Foreign Mercenaries in Libya: “I Won’t Say They’ll Be Out in a Month or Two” – Al Marsad

Prime Minister of the interim Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdul Hamid al-Dbaiba, said “International interventions, as well as the interventions of military systems” would create obstacles to the holding the December elections, but that Libya would not return to war.

(LIBYA, 20 August 2021) – The Prime Minister of the interim Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdul Hamid al-Dbaiba, in an interview with Bloomberg, pledged to hold the elections on time because this is one of the most important tasks assigned to him by his government.

On the issue of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Dbaiba said he is a citizen and son of an important tribe, and he has no objection to the nomination of any citizen who does not have legal problems. According to Bloomberg, one “intervention” that Dbaiba seems to allude to “is supposedly being plotted by Russian President Vladimir Putin”, who it claims to be “intent on challenging the US and Europe, as well as Turkey, by elevating into office the ex-dictator’s son, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi”.

Regarding the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar, Dbaiba said he only communicated indirectly with Haftar when his term began to resolve matters including prisoner exchanges. He said he did not object to meeting Haftar if he “recognizes me as prime minister and defense minister.”

Dbaiba also claimed to have make progress on the issue the exist of all mercenaries. “I won’t say they’ll be out in a month or two,” said Dabiba, but that they will eventually leave. He said that there is a “very significant decrease” in weaponry brought into Libya.

He noted that Libya will offer investment projects at the two oil and gas conferences at the end of the year, one in Texas and the other in Tripoli. “We received offers from Italy’s Eni to invest 10 billion dollars in various oil fields, and we also received offers from France’s Total, which has an investment budget in Libya of more than two billion dollars.”

Dabaiba said he has yet to looked into changing the NOC’s head, Mustafa Sanalla, as was urged by the GNU’s oil minister.

The Bloomberg interview surprisingly made no mention on the need for Turkish troops leaving Libya, which is a question that should have been asked by its reporter to Dbaiba. The requirements of the UN Security Council, Berlin II, and more importantly the 5+5 Joint Military Committee decisions, is that all mercenaries and all foreign forces must leave Libyan soil. The 5+5 Committee also demanded a freeze on all military agreements, particularly with Turkey and Russia. Dbaiba has consistently avoided the issue of Turkish forces, and has preferred focussing instead on mercenaries on his public statements.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, at a press conference yesterday with Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush, said that Russia supported the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries and would comply with a simultaneous withdrawal.

Lavrov: We Support the Withdrawal of All Foreign Military Personnel from Libyan Territory