New Libya PM: Failure Not an Option

The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum chose Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as prime minister. (AFP)
The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum chose Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as prime minister. (AFP)
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New Libya PM: Failure Not an Option

The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum chose Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as prime minister. (AFP)
The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum chose Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as prime minister. (AFP)

Libya’s new Prime Minister-designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh said on Sunday that it was only reasonable for the east-based government, headed by Abdullah al-Thani, to demand that the new interim government receive the backing of the east-based Tobruk parliament.

“The choice is up to the Libyan people and the people have welcomed this government. I believe [the Tobruk-based parliament] is part of the people and I don't think they will opt for any other option,” he told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.

“Al-Thani announced that he would wait for the approval of the new government and this is logical,” he said. “I think the [Tobruk-based] parliament has welcomed the results of Libya's political dialogue.”

Last week, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, which includes 75 UN-picked delegates from across the country, appointed Mohammad Younes Menfi, a Libyan diplomat from the country’s east, as chairman of the Presidential Council. The forum also chose Dbeibeh, a powerful businessman from the western city of Misrata, as prime minister.

Dbeibeh said the new government will be formed in three weeks and then presented to a vote at parliament.

He hinted at the possibility of naming members of the former government in his new lineup.

“This is possible. The government will be technocrat and whoever has proved his efficiency will be among the government team.”

He also stressed the importance of achieving social peace to resolve the Libyan crisis.

“We will form Libyan-Libyan reconciliation committees to reconcile between the people, the tribes and the warring sects,” he revealed.

On Turkey, the main backer of the outgoing Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, Dbeibeh described it as a “friend and ally.”

“We maintain great solidarity with the Turkish state and people,” he stated. “Turkey is an ally, friend, and a brotherly state, and it has huge capabilities to help the Libyans achieve their real goals. Turkey is considered a real partner to Libya.”

“Turkey was the only country that the Libyans could freely travel to during the war,” Debibeh noted. “Turkey has kept its airports open to the Libyans and did not close its embassy in Tripoli.”

The PM-designate vowed to rebuild Libya, saying he was ready to listen to and work with all sides regardless of their affiliations for the sake of the nation.

In an address to the people on Saturday, he declared that “failure was not an option during this critical time.”

He acknowledged that he was facing a daunting challenge, but that his government will not exclude any segment of society.

He vowed that he will work with the Presidential Council and all state institutions to ease the suffering of the people, improve services and combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland congratulated on Sunday Dbeibeh on his appointment, encouraging him “to identify a small, competent, technocratic cabinet team that can quickly be granted confidence by the House of Representatives in accordance with the LPDF roadmap.”

The cabinet he said should “begin work on addressing the pressing needs of Libyans throughout the country on key issues such as electricity, COVID-19 response, and preparing for elections in December.”

“The United States wishes the new interim executive success during this pivotal transition period and stands ready to assist Libya in pursuit of a stable, prosperous, and democratic future,” he stressed.



WHO Says Many People in Gaza Facing ‘Famine-like Conditions’

Israeli soldiers operate inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, on Feb. 13, 2024. (AP)
Israeli soldiers operate inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, on Feb. 13, 2024. (AP)
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WHO Says Many People in Gaza Facing ‘Famine-like Conditions’

Israeli soldiers operate inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, on Feb. 13, 2024. (AP)
Israeli soldiers operate inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, on Feb. 13, 2024. (AP)

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that many people in Gaza were facing "catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions".

"A significant proportion of Gaza's population is now facing catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"Despite reports of increased delivery of food, there is currently no evidence that those who need it most are receiving sufficient quantity and quality of food."

Tedros said there were more than 8,000 children under five years old who have been diagnosed and treated for acute malnutrition, including 1,600 children with severe acute malnutrition.

"However, due to insecurity and lack of access, only two stabilization centers for severely malnourished patients can operate," he added.

"Our inability to provide health services safely, combined with the lack of clean water and sanitation, significantly increases the risk of malnourished children."

The war in Gaza began on Oct. 7 when fighters led by Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis and took more than 250 hostage, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel's response has caused the deaths of more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to the Gazan health ministry, displaced most of Gaza's population of 2.3 million and caused widespread hunger and destruction.

A UN inquiry on Wednesday found that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes early in the Gaza war, and that Israel's actions also constituted crimes against humanity because of the immense civilian losses.

Tedros also highlighted a separate health crisis in the West Bank, where he said healthcare had been targeted by nearly 500 attacks since Oct. 7.

"While the world's focus has been on Gaza, there is also an escalating health crisis in the West Bank, where attacks on healthcare and restrictions on movement of people are obstructing access to health services," he said.

"In most areas of the West Bank, clinics are only operating two days a week and hospitals are operating at about 70% capacity."