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Sarraj: Only Libyans Decide Fate of the Elections

Sarraj: Only Libyans Decide Fate of the Elections

Wednesday, 8 August, 2018 - 07:30
Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj. (Reuters)
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud

Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj declared on Tuesday that the fate and timing of the presidential and parliamentary elections in the country can only be determined by the Libyan people.

GNA spokesman Mohammed al-Sallak said that the PM stressed the need for the concerned powers, especially the participants in the May conference in Paris, to commit to the agreements reached during the talks. The gatherers had agreed to hold the polls in December.

Furthermore, Sarraj urged international organizations to cooperate with Libyan authorities and eliminate obstacles hindering a breakthrough in the economic crisis, Sallak told a press conference in Tripoli.

The elections were discussed during a meeting in Tunis on Monday between United Nations special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salameh and Tunisian Foreign Minister Khamis al-Jahnawi.

The minister stressed the importance of unifying efforts between Libyan parties to ensure that the polls are held as soon as possible in order to pave the way for stability and security to be restored in the country, said a Tunisian foreign ministry statement.

It also said that Salameh underlined the need for all effective regional and international parties to push forward inter-Libyan reconciliation under UN sponsorship.

Meanwhile, Italian media reported that Cairo and Rome reached an agreement to hold regular meetings between senior officials to prepare for an international conference on Libya that will be hosted by the Italian capital in November.

Over the weekend, Italian Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Perrone had sparked the ire of the Libyan people when he dismissed recent popular protests in the country that were demanding improved services.

Rallies demanding his expulsion erupted in Tripoli on Monday night. Dozens of Libyan figures signed a statement describing the envoy as persona non grata, urging his immediate departure.

Perrone had said that Italy prioritizes introducing better conditions in Libya before elections can be held.

Separately, Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar made a surprise visit to neighboring Niger on Tuesday where he held talks with President Mahamadou Issoufou.

Military sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the talks were part of attempts by Haftar to secure Libya’s southern borders.

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