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Libya Criticizes Tunisia’s Ghannouchi for Meddling in its Internal Affairs

Libya Criticizes Tunisia’s Ghannouchi for Meddling in its Internal Affairs

Wednesday, 3 June, 2020 - 05:45
Tunisian parliament Speaker Rached al-Ghannouchi. (Getty Images)
Cairo – Jamal Jawhar

Tunisian parliament Speaker Rached al-Ghannouchi sparked a new wave of outrage in Libya, especially among supporters of the Libyan National Army (LNA), after he reiterated on Tuesday his support for the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.

MP at the Tobruk-based parliament Jebreel Idris Ouhaida told Asharq Al-Awsat that Ghannouchi’s justifications are “ploys” adopted by the global Muslim Brotherhood organization.

“It is natural for Tunisia’s branch of the organization to come up with such lies because it is one of the most important Brotherhood branches in the Middle East and North Africa region after its collapse in Egypt,” he added.

“The organization of extremism and evil does not recognize the national state, but dreams of what it calls the Islamic caliphate…. This is their goal and all the roles that they play under the guise of democracy are nothing but covers for their plots,” he warned.

In remarks to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency on Tuesday, Ghannouchi, who also head the moderate Islamist Ennahda movement, justified his contacts with the GNA, saying he had congratulated it on its advances in the Tripoli battles.

“The state and its president, Kais Saied, are in contact with the GNA leadership because it represents sovereignty” as recognized by the international community, he explained.

He added that he had previously met with Aguila Saleh, the speaker of the Tobruk-based parliament in the east.

Responding to his critics, Ghannouchi said: “Those who protest against our meetings are suggesting that we meet with organizations that are not recognized, which will harm the interests of Tunisia and its people.”

Ghannouchi claimed that none of Libya’s neighbors could possibly stand by idly as they watch the developments unraveling in the country.

“Negative neutrality therefore has no meaning. We are calling for positive neutrality based on encouraging all parties to agree on a political and peaceful resolution,” he said.

Ouhaida said the Muslim Brotherhood eyes Libya as a source of finances due to its oil wealth, saying Turkey, with Qatar’s support, is implementing its plans.

He stressed however, that the Tunisian people and their national movement are aware of Ghannouchi’s actions in cooperation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against Libya, which is suffering from “strife and division due to political Islam”.

“The free men of Libya are aware of the dirty game Ghannouchi and his allies in Libya are playing. Along with the free people of Tunisia, they will thwart these plots, peacefully or forcefully,” he vowed.

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