Libya: Bashagha Chairs First Meeting in Sebha

Libya's Fathi Bashagha (Reuters)
Libya's Fathi Bashagha (Reuters)
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Libya: Bashagha Chairs First Meeting in Sebha

Libya's Fathi Bashagha (Reuters)
Libya's Fathi Bashagha (Reuters)

The Libyan government, chaired by Fathi Bashagha, held its first official meeting in the southern city of Sebha after failing to enter the capital, Tripoli.

At the onset of the meeting, Bashagha said that the assembly was conducted in Sebha to ensure that the government is for all Libyans and regions.

Bashagha stated that Libya is not to be seized by a particular person, government, or family that believes it can buy the country with the money of the Libyans, in reference to his rival Abdulhamid Dbeibeh.

"The era of corruption, chaos, and despotism is gone. Today marks the beginning of a new national era where all Libyans will unite to achieve reform, reconstruction, and justice," said Bashagha.

Before the Sebha meeting, Bashagha pledged more than once to enter Tripoli and exercise his governmental duties from within.

The government renewed its commitment to pursuing the "peaceful option" to assume its duties in the capital.

Meanwhile, the official Tunisian news agency (TAP) quoted a brief statement from the Department of Information and Communication in the Dbeibeh government denying any tensions in the relations with Tunisia.

TAP asserted that Dbeibeh's recent meeting with the Tunisian ambassador in Tripoli was fraternal and cordial, addressing ways to enhance cooperation in various fields, contrary to what is being promoted.

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Libya Richard Norland and Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric Meyer discussed with the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) Governor the joint efforts to enhance transparency at the CBL, especially in public spending.

Norland underlined that "The US shares Libyan concerns that funds can be diverted to support partisan political purposes or undermine Libya's peace and security."

The Ambassador and Meyer urged the CBL to safeguard Libya's oil revenue from misappropriation to rebuild confidence in the institution and contribute to stability.

The participants in the call jointly reaffirmed that it is critical to provide financial support for the National Oil Corporation's operations, even as discussions continue to reach broad agreement on other government expenditures.

Norland also expressed concern about half of Libya's oil production shutdown.

"Forced, prolonged disruptions to oil production create adverse conditions for the Libyan people, including power outages, water supply issues, fuel shortages, and damage to oil infrastructure, threatening the future of Libya's energy sector and its ability to continue generating revenue for the benefit of the people," said Norland.



US Criticizes ICJ Opinion that Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Territories is Illegal

FILE PHOTO: A view shows mobile homes in the Jewish settlement of Givat Haroeh in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, February 21, 2023. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A view shows mobile homes in the Jewish settlement of Givat Haroeh in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, February 21, 2023. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo
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US Criticizes ICJ Opinion that Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Territories is Illegal

FILE PHOTO: A view shows mobile homes in the Jewish settlement of Givat Haroeh in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, February 21, 2023. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A view shows mobile homes in the Jewish settlement of Givat Haroeh in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, February 21, 2023. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo

The United States criticized "the breadth" of the top UN court's opinion in which the International Court of Justice said Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal, with Washington saying it will complicate efforts to resolve the conflict.
"We have been clear that Israel's program of government support for settlements is both inconsistent with international law and obstructs the cause of peace," a US State Department spokesperson said on Saturday in an email.
"However, we are concerned that the breadth of the court's opinion will complicate efforts to resolve the conflict and bring about an urgently needed just and lasting peace, with two states living side-by-side in peace and security," the State Department added.

In The Hague, ICJ presiding judge Nawaf Salam said: "The court has found... that Israel's continued presence in the Palestinian Territories is illegal."

Israel is "under the obligation to bring to an end its unlawful presence as rapidly as possible," the judge said in its finding, read at the Peace Palace, seat of the ICJ.

The ICJ added that Israel was "under an obligation to cease immediately all new settlement activities and to evacuate all settlers" from occupied land.

Israel's policies and practices, including the maintenance of a wall between the territories, "amount to annexation of large parts" of the occupied territory, the court said.