By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 19 July:
Mahmoud Jibril, head of the National Forces Alliance (NFA), has formally refuted allegations of inappropriately close relations . . .[restrict]with the US and Qatari governments in a statement posted on his official Facebook page.
The criticism follows a visit by the US Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns, to the NFA headquarters during his recent visit to Tripoli, which Jibril has insisted was purely for the purpose of conveying his congratulations to the alliance.
Jibril used the statement to distance himself from speculation that discussions took place between the two regarding the formation of Libya’s next government.
Jibril also denied that discussions took place regarding the war on terrorism and extremists.
Mischievous speculation had taken place in various media outlets as well as on social networks that ‘”the Americans were here to appoint the next government”, and had gone as far as naming the first deputy prime minister, Mustafa Abushagur as the preferred US choice for prime minister.
On the other hand, with regards to the visit of the crown prince of Qatar, Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani, Jibril noted in his statement that the head of the NTC had directed an invitation to all heads of political parties to meet with the crown prince, and that the NFA had sent a representative to this meeting purely in response to the NTC invitation.
Jibril’s statement went on to point out that there are usually protocols followed in advance of these meetings and that such meetings should be organised in advance and not set up in a spontaneous manner.
The NFA head was responding to media speculation that he had snubbed the Qatari crown prince by not meeting him personally, adding to the generally held belief that the Qataris favoured the Nation Party as opposed to Jibril’s NFA during the National Congress elections.
For the Tripoli visit of the US Deputy Secretary of State see: http://www.libyaherald.com/us-deputy-secretary-of-defence-in-tripoli-for-talks-with-pm/