Aguila Saleh to Asharq Al-Awsat: Forming Unified Govt Only Way to End Power Struggle in Libya

Political deadlock won’t lead to new military clash, he assured.

Speaker of Libya’s east-based parliament Aguila Saleh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Speaker of Libya’s east-based parliament Aguila Saleh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Aguila Saleh to Asharq Al-Awsat: Forming Unified Govt Only Way to End Power Struggle in Libya

Speaker of Libya’s east-based parliament Aguila Saleh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Speaker of Libya’s east-based parliament Aguila Saleh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Speaker of Libya’s east-based parliament Aguila Saleh stressed that resolving his country’s political crisis lies in the formation of a unified government that would end the power struggle between the Government of National Unity (GNU) and its rival government of stability with the aim of holding the delayed elections.

In an interview to Asharq Al-Awsat, Saleh added that the political impasse “won’t lead to a new military clash or war between the Libyans.”

He cited the people’s “awareness that such clashes aim to prolong the division and chaos so that Libya would wind up a failed state that is controlled by foreign powers.”

He underscored the need to hold the parliamentary and presidential elections, saying the ballot boxes would choose who rules.

“Of course, holding transparent elections, whose results are accepted, demands the presence of a unified government for that purpose,” he went on to say.

Moreover, he blamed head of the Tripoli-based GNU Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah for the current impasse, saying it has caused division and financial and administrative corruption.

Asked why the government of stability has failed in entering the capital Tripoli and assuming power, he said: “We had from the start demanded that Sirte city be the base of the government because it is not under the threat of militias so it can function normally without pressure.”

Such a government would then begin dismantling these militias, “however, some countries don’t want stability to prevail in Libya and have refused to work with the government of stability even though it enjoys the parliament’s confidence,” added Saleh.

These countries have claimed that they would not recognize a government that is not based in the capital, he continued. “They realize that a move to the capital would lead to war and fighting. No one wants a new war between the Libyans. The formation of a government is an internal affair and doesn’t require international recognition,” Saleh stated.

“We do not oppose any meeting that would help end the crisis,” he declared in reference to United Nations envoy Abdoulaye Bathily’s call to hold a meeting for Libyan parties. He stressed however, the need to respect the constitutional foundation and electoral laws.

On whether Dbeibah should attend the meeting, Saleh said the head of the GNU is no longer recognized by the parliament, so he no longer represents the cabinet.

“In order to quash accusations that we don’t want a solution to the crisis, we have demanded that if some parties insist on Dbeibah’s participation, then it should be met with the participation of head of the stability government, Dr. Osama Hammad,” said the speaker.

On when the parliamentary and presidential elections could be held, Saleh replied: “When a new unified government is formed and when the electoral commission declares it is ready to hold the polls.”

Asked about the progress in the dismantling of militias and the withdrawal of foreign forces from Libya, he replied: “We are demanding their complete pullout from our country.”



Gaza Health Ministry: 70 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Fire in Khan Younis

Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
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Gaza Health Ministry: 70 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Fire in Khan Younis

Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Seventy Palestinians were killed and more than 200 wounded by Israeli fire on the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, Gaza's Health Ministry said on Monday.

It said some of the wounded were in a "dangerous condition.”

Another strike hit outside Al-Aqsa Hospital in the central town of Deir-Al-Balah, where many people were living in tents on the street, killing one person and wounding three.

The attacks came as the Israeli military ordered the evacuation of part of a crowded area in the Gaza Strip it had designated a humanitarian zone, saying it is planning an operation against Hamas militants there. The order triggered a new flight of Palestinians, many of whom had taken refuge there just in the past weeks.

The Health Ministry said the toll from Israel’s nine-month war against Hamas in Gaza has surpassed 39,000 Palestinians killed and 89,800 wounded.