Four years after assuming office, the head of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj announced on Wednesday that he intends to step down by the end of October and make way for a new leader elected by the dialogue committee.
Sarraj also welcomed the results of UN-sponsored negotiations to unite the North African state divided by war and foreign military interventions.
"I declare my sincere desire to hand over my duties to the next executive authority no later than the end of October," Sarraj said while delivering a speech on state television.
"Hopefully, the dialogue committee will complete its work and choose a new presidential council and prime minister," he added.
“Today, we are witnessing meetings and deliberations between Libyans sponsored by the UN, and we welcome the principal recommendations made,” Sarraj said, adding that he is hopeful that those recommendations bring about further agreement among warring parties.
Sarraj said the UN-brokered talks between the country's rival factions have led to a "new preparatory phase" to unify Libyan institutions and prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections.
Although Sarraj supports direct elections as means to a comprehensive solution, he said he would support other understandings established at negotiations.
Despite declaring his wish to resign, Sarraj still defended his government’s performance, saying that it was working under “unnatural” circumstances and that it faced internal and foreign conspiracies on a daily basis.
This, according to Sarraj, inhibited the government from performing its duties in an exemplary fashion.
In other news, the press office of the GNA’s High State Council on Wednesday said its head Khalid al-Mishri had met with Turkey’s Ambassador in Tripoli Serhat Aksen to discuss the latest developments in Libya.
Last November, Turkey and Libya’s GNA signed a maritime, as well as a security and military cooperation agreement.
Oil-rich Libya was plunged into chaos when a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi, who was later killed. The country has since split between rival east- and west-based administrations, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.