Libya’s interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah met with heads of diplomatic missions in the capital, Tripoli, on Tuesday to discuss the political situation in the midst of the eastern parliament’s appointment of Fathi Bashagha as prime minister.
A statement from the Unity Government noted that Dbeibah had told the Heads of Mission that the government was aiming to hold elections as part of the UN Roadmap.
In response, the ambassadors told Dbeibah that the necessary work had to be done to hold elections and that they strongly supported the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya Stephanie Williams’ efforts to create a joint constitutional committee.
Ambassadors from Turkey, the United States, Britain, France, Qatar, Greece, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Algeria and Tunisia attended the meeting, the Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.
Turkey’s Ambassador to Libya Kenan Yılmaz previously held a one-on-one meeting with Dbeibah on 6 March.
At the same time, the US Ambassador to Libya called on Richard B. Norland to exercise restraint and called on all sides to reduce tensions.
“The United States continues to call for calm and a reduction in contacts with all sides,” the ambassador said in a Twitter message, adding that his colleagues in Washington had a similar conversation with Fathi Bashagha on Tuesday afternoon.
The struggle for control of the Libyan government following the collapse of a planned election in December threatens to return the country to conflict and division that has prevailed for much of the period since a NATO-backed revolution in 2011.
Dbeibah was installed a year ago through a UN-backed process and says his government remains valid and that he will only relinquish power after a rescheduled election that he says he will hold in June.
Dbeibah accused parliament of trying to sabotage the election, saying, “What they called a government will never work in reality and will not have a seat.”
Parliament has stated that Dbeibah’s term of office expired when the December elections did not take place as planned, and the House has instead chosen Bashagha to lead a new transition with elections to follow next year.
Parliament’s position is supported by the Eastern Putist general Khalifa Haftar, who waged a 14-month war against Tripoli from 2019 to 2020. Armed factions in the capital and western regions appear divided over the crisis, with some saying they opposed parliament’s move to install a new one. government.
Bashagha, a former interior minister, said he was determined to hold elections within the time frame set by parliament next year, adding that he wanted to reach an agreement between rival political institutions on the issue.
Disputes over basic rules for the election led to the collapse of the planned vote in December.
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