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.