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Libya's Bashagha in Turkey to Convince Dbeibah to Step Down

Libya's Bashagha in Turkey to Convince Dbeibah to Step Down

Friday, 13 May, 2022 - 05:45
UN Special Adviser Stephanie Williams meets with Dbeibah on Wednesday. (Stephanie Williams via Twitter)

Fathi Bashagha, head of Libya's Government of Stability, kicked off on Wednesday a surprise visit to Turkey.

His office did not announce the trip and Turkish authorities did not comment on it.

Sources said Bashagha traveled at the head of a government delegation to Ankara after receiving an official invitation. This would mark his second visit to Turkey since taking office.

He is seeking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's support to persuade head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU) Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah to step down in his favor.

Libya has been plunged in stalemate over control of the capital Tripoli where the GNU refuses to hand over power after the east-based parliament appointed Bashagha in March.

Dbeibah's government was installed last year to run all of Libya for an interim period as part of a peace process that was meant to include national elections in December.

However, after the election process collapsed amid disputes over the rules, the parliament said Dbeibah's term had expired and moved to appoint its own administration.

Dbeibah says his government is still valid and that he will hand over power only after an election.

Meanwhile, head of the Presidency Council Mohammed al-Menfi stressed the need to prioritize national interests.

"Consensus is key to reaching a final solution to the crisis and achieving peace, and rebuilding the state on just and legal grounds," he said during a meeting in Tripoli with the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams.

Williams said she used the opportunity to brief Menfi on the next meeting of the Joint House of Representatives and High Council of State Committee that will be reconvened in Cairo on May 15 with the objective to rebuild consensus on a firm constitutional and electoral track to enable the holding of national elections as soon as possible.

On Wednesday, Williams said she met with Dbeibah in Tripoli at his request. She "emphasized the importance of ensuring that national elections take place on the basis of a sound constitutional framework within the shortest timeframe possible in order to meet the aspirations of the Libyan people."

She added that she briefed him on her recent travels and consultations with the international community, as well as her discussions with a range of Libyan stakeholders in the lead-up to the second round of talks between the House of Representatives and the High Council of State.

She also "highlighted the absolute necessity of preserving calm on the ground in order to allow space for the political negotiations to proceed."

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