By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 7 January 2013:
The Prime Minister has appointed Mohamed Abdulaziz, the Minister of International Cooperation, as Minister of Foreign . . .[restrict]Affairs. The two ministries have been merged. They were a single ministry under the Kib administration but separated by Zeidan when he announced his government at the end of October.
The decision follows the “resignation” a week ago of Ali Al-Aujali who had originally been appointed by Zeidan to be Foreign Minister but who never took up the post. His appointment was controversial from the start and although he was cleared by the Integrity Commission, there was persistent opposition in Congress and the country to him taking office.
Although Zeidan himself has technically been Foreign Minister in the meantime, Abdulaziz has been acting Foreign Minister and is widely seen to have performed well in the job.
He was Undersecretary at the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the last government.
Congress will probably have to be asked to endorse the move because it involves the merging of two ministries it had separated, but no opposition is expected. Remerging the ministries should not be a problem either as the departments have as yet not been fully separated.
One of the intended prime functions of the Ministry of International Cooperation is the tracking down abroad of the billions of state funds looted by the Qaddafi regime. [/restrict]