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US Reiterates Its Support for Sarraj

US Reiterates Its Support for Sarraj

Thursday, 24 January, 2019 - 11:15
Rebels under Libyan rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran guard the entrance of the al-Ghani oil field, which is currently under the group's control, south of Ras Lanuf (File Photo: Reuters)
Cairo - Khalid Mahmoud, Jamal Jawhar
The United States became involved with security arrangements in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, after US Ambassador to Libya Peter Bodde met with Chairman of the Presidential Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, in an unannounced visit on Tuesday.

In a statement issued after the meeting, Sarraj said the meeting comes within the framework of the consultation process between the two friendly countries. It indicated that the two discussed the latest political developments in Libya and the economic reform program launched by Sarraj in September.

The US ambassador reiterated his country's support for what he described “the consensual approach of Sarraj and his government”, praising the positive results achieved on the security and economic levels, according to the statement.

He also reiterated his country’s support for the democratic process sponsored by the United Nations and stressed the importance of the US-Libya strategic partnership against terrorism.

Sarraj chaired the meeting of the presidential council of Government of National Accord (GNA) which discussed the security situation in southern Tripoli and accompanying security arrangements.

The council, according to Sarraj's office, discussed also the procedures for implementing the security arrangements and working mechanisms between the security committee, the concerned ministries, and government bodies.

On the other hand, members of the House of Representatives (Hor) of Fezzan province, called on all the people of the southern region to support the army forces and the military operation, which has recently begun to liberate the south and enforce the law.

The members welcomed the efforts of the army forces to eliminate terrorist organizations and illegal armed groups that threaten the security of the country and the citizens.

However, President of the High Council of State (HCS), Khaled al-Mishri described the national army forces in the south as “illegal” in public criticism of the military operation.

Mishri stressed that his council only recognizes one Supreme Commander of the Libyan Army, Chairman of the Presidential Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, according to the 2015 Skhirat agreement established in Morocco under the auspices of the UN.

In other news, the Libyan naval forces denied Human Rights Watch's (HRW) accusations linking Coast Guard units to “human traffickers”.

Spokesman for the Libyan Navy, Ayoub Qassim, stated that HRW and other similar organizations are trying to deform the Libyan government and its coastguards.

Qassim addressed the accusations by saying the coast guard is a respected state institution and added that they will be more than glad to receive evidence from HRW for its accusations and bring those involved in such misconduct and crimes to justice.

HRW accused in a report days ago the Libyan coastguards of mistreating illegal migrants, saying some of the guards were militia members and are now naval personnel.

This comes after Palermo's mayor Loluca Orlando described Libya as an “open-air detention camp” for immigrants, which stirred anger in the country.

Secretary-general of the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Libya (AOHR), Abdul Moneim al-Horr, responded to Orlando’s statement by stressing that Libya is only a transit country. He admitted that Libya has to protect the migrants, but its commitment depends “on the effort, not the desired result.”

Horr believed that: “It is unreasonable to ask the Libyan authorities to protect migrants, when sometimes it is incapable of protecting its own citizens.”

An official source at the Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency in Tripoli said that the international community is holding Tripoli the responsibility for the illegal immigration, and overlooks the fact that Libya had already dealt with a lot in this issue and has been suffering for nearly seven years.

He went on to say that within its financial means, Libya was extremely generous with the influx of immigrants flowing from everywhere.

"There may be abuses or suspicions about the extent to which funds are being spent on armed groups," the official said, declining to be named, however, Libya is being subjected to injustice because international parties only condemn the country without providing any support to contain this phenomenon from its African sources that need development assistance.

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