Several Arab countries, as well as Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, skipped on Sunday a meeting for Arab foreign ministers that was hosted by the Libyan Government of National Unity (GNU).
Only seven out of 22 members of the Arab League took part in the meeting that was held in preparation for a meeting of Arab foreign ministers that will be held in Cairo at a later date.
The development was seen as a diplomatic and political defeat to the Tripoli-based government headed by Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were among the countries that skipped Sunday’s meeting. Four others, including Qatar, lowered their representation at the talks to the level of ministers of state.
GNU Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush failed in providing the necessary quorum for the meeting to be considered an official part of the proceedings of the 158th round of the Arab Ministerial Council.
Moreover, the GNU was forced to relabel Sunday’s talks as a consultative meeting after only delegations from Algeria, Tunisia, Qatar, Palestine, Oman, Sudan, the Comoros, head of the United Nations mission in Libya and African Union representative showed up at the event.
Mangoush expressed her disappointment with her failure in transforming Sunday’s meet into an event that recognizes the legitimacy of the GNU against the rival administration headed by Fathi Bashagha.
She stressed that the GNU is “insistent on exercising its full rights at the Arab League” and that it rejects the “politicization of its treaties.”
She claimed there were “Arab attempts aimed at breaking the will of the Libyan people and obstructing international efforts aimed at establishing stability and holding elections in Libya.”
She added that “we will not accept skepticism from some Arab countries in Libya's ability in hosting an Arab meeting,” claiming that there were attempts to prevent Libya from garnering Arab backing for its cause.
Mangoush urged the gatherers to shun “negative stories that allege that Libya and Tripoli were the land of war and destruction.”
The FM cited “efforts to break the will of Libyans who are seeking Arab solidarity with Libya.”
Referring to the boycotting FMs, she remarked that Libya was hoping to receive the support of Arab countries in holding elections and sponsoring the democratic transition.
Furthermore, Mangoush called on the Arab League to support the UN mission in Libya so that elections can be held and the transitional phase can be concluded. She stressed that the GNU was keen on having the Arab League play a role in her country’s stability.
Moreover, she alleged that the Arab League supported the international intervention in Libya in 2011, claiming that her government “helped end the fighting for the first time in ten years.”
She added that the GNU “has provided basic services to all citizens”, noting that Libya’s economy has “become promising for development.”
Mangoush reiterated the GNU’s commitment to hold presidential and parliamentary elections and end the transitional period to prevent the country from sliding towards chaos.
Meanwhile, UN special envoy for Libya Abdoulaye Bathily stated that the solidarity of Arab countries was necessary for the security and stability of Libya and the entire region.
He called on all effective parties in Libya to assume their responsibilities in finding solutions as soon as possible.