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Salame: Libya is Committing Suicide by Squandering its Oil Wealth

Salame: Libya is Committing Suicide by Squandering its Oil Wealth

Friday, 24 May, 2019 - 08:45
UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame following a United Nations Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York, US, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud
UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame denounced the ongoing conflict in Tripoli and considered that the country is committing suicide and wasting its oil wealth to pay for war.

The north African country was "a textbook example of foreign interference today in local conflicts," Salame told a New York-based think tank late Wednesday.

Between "six and 10 countries are permanently interfering in Libya's problem" funneling arms, cash and military advice to the country, he warned. But the Libyans do not need outside help to fuel the conflict, which has ravaged the country since dictator Moamer Kadhafi was ousted in 2011, Salame added.

"The truth is that Libya can pay for its own suicide," he lamented.

"I always considered my compatriots in Lebanon as stupid enough to commit suicide with somebody else's money. The Libyans are even worse. They are committing suicide with their own money," Salame told the International Peace Institute.

"We need to work in order to put an end to this conflict," he continued, regretting the lack of unity at the UN over the issue.

Fights flared up in Tripoli after the Libyan National Army – led by Commander Khalifa Haftar – intensified airstrikes against pro-government forces.

Meanwhile, Head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj arrived Thursday in Algeria for an official visit. Accompanied by Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala and a group of advisors and military officials, Sarraj was welcomed by his Algerian counterpart Noureddine Bedoui and Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum.

Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah affirmed, in a presidential statement following his meeting with Sarraj, that Algeria is concerned about the ongoing clashes in Libya and the humanitarian and material consequences as well as the numerable displaced.

Bensalah noted that the Algerian efforts on the international level seek to expedite the cease of fights and the continuity of the political path with the participation of all Libyan national forces.

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