Tripoli, 31 December:
Ali Al-Aujali who was appointed Foreign Affairs Minister when Prime Minister Ali Zeidan unveiled his cabinet at the end . . .[restrict]of October has resigned. His resignation was given to the General National Congress by the Prime Minister yesterday, Sunday. It is reported that Zeidan informed Congress that the reasons for the resignation were personal. However, no statement has been made by Aujali himself and it has not been possible to contact him.
Aujali, a career diplomat who served as Libyan ambassador in Washington, never formally took up the post and appointment was controversial from the start. Although he broke with the Qaddafi regime on 22 February last year, many people accused him of having been too involved in it, and in particular too close to Seif Al-Islam. On 31 October, when Congress formally approved Zeidan’s government, there was an agreement that a number of ministers, including Aujali, would not take office until they had been cleared by the Integrity Commission.
Clearance came on 27 November after the Commission agreed that he had broken away from the Qaddafi regime well before the 20 March cut-off point and did not fall foul of any of its other criteria. However, opposition to his appointment continued and he notably failed to turn up to Congress on 9 December when he was due to take his oath of office. Asked five days later at a press conference whether Aujali was going to take up his post, Zeidan said that the decision was for him to make. He could either take up the post or resign. Whatever decision would be accepted by himself as Prime Minister.
Zeidan has officially been foreign minister since the the government was inaugurated although the Minister of International Cooperation, Mohamed Abdulaziz, the deputy Foreign Minister in the Al-Kib administration, has effectively carried out the job.
So far, there has been no indication whom the Prime Minister intends to appoint.
Yesterday, Zeidan nominated three new ministers — Ali Gadour as minister for Martyrs and the Missing, Ali Muftah Obaid as Minister of Higher Education, and Yousef Mohamed Sherif as Minister of Information. Gadour replaces Sami Al-Saadi who resigned while Obaid replaces Abdulasalm Bashir Duabi who had been rejected by the Integrity Commission.
The Ministry or Information is a new creation.