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Libya: Tobruk House of Representatives Reschedules Decisive Session

Libya: Tobruk House of Representatives Reschedules Decisive Session

Tuesday, 21 November, 2017 - 11:15
Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya disembarks from the UN plane in Al-Qubbah, 6 August, on his first trip to Libya since taking office.Source: UN

Libya’s parliament sought on Monday to contain the crisis of preventing a United Nations aircraft carrying cabinet members from landing at the airport of the city of Tobruk.

Tobruk airport denied the UN aircraft landing permission “on security grounds”. The aircraft was obliged to fly back to Tripoli’s Mitiga airport.

House of Representatives members that were refused landing were scheduled to attend a vital national cabinet session.

The internationally-recognized parliament’s cabinet session condemned not authorizing the plane’s landing and rescheduled the vital session.

Monday’s parliament session was expected to be held with incoming members coming from Tripoli, and was supposed to witness the voting on crucial proposals for amending the political Skhirat agreement, concluded in Morocco about two years ago.

The voting was scheduled according to a plan put forward by the United Nations.

Coming in from west of the country, the MPs also were expected to discuss, and maybe even vote on, the results of the joint HoR and State Council drafting committee’s two previous meetings.

More so, the session ordered opening an urgent probe and ordered the summoning of the head of the Civil Aviation and Transportation Authority.

The parliament spokesperson said that the voting session was pushed to Tuesday to enable Tobruk-based parliamentarians to attend.

President of the Libyan House of Representatives Ageela Saleh has lashed out at Tobruk airport officials who this morning refused landing permission to a UN plane from Tripoli bringing 30 House of Representatives (HoR) members for a key debate.

Later on, Saleh ordered allowing the plane to land and urged a probe into the matter.

On that note, Libya’s interim government headed by Abdullah al-Thani listing collaborators with the Government of National Accord headed by the UN-backed Fayez al-Sarraj.

Similar incidents have occurred before, though on each occasion it was demonstrators that acted against UN flights which had already landed. Last November former UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler was prevented from leaving the airport for talks with the HoR.

Libyan government forces on Saturday arrested four people responsible for kidnapping three Turkish workers in Libya, according to a local official.

"The operation [to arrest the suspects] took place in the desert region near Libya's border with Algeria," Ahmed Hima, a member of Khat municipal council in southwestern Libya, told the Ankara-based news outlet, Anadolu Agency.

He said armed battles erupted between security forces of the UN-backed unity government and the abductors during the operation.

Last week, an armed group seized three Turkish nationals and one German citizen who had been working for ENKA, a Turkish engineering and construction firm, in Ubari region.

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