By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 28 April 2013:
At today’s much delayed evening press conference, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan described the attack on the . . .[restrict]French embassy as an act of “terror”.
Zeidan, appearing with the Deputy Head of the GNC, Salah Makhzum, went on say that the attack on the French embassy through a car bomb last week “was an attack on all Libya”.
We won’t have our arms twisted
“They want to stop the formation of the Libyan state”, he said, and insisted that “we won’t be stopped on our road empowered with the legitimacy of the GNC. We won’t have our arms twisted” he added sending a message to the militias that were surrounding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today as much as to the terrorists that attacked the French embassy.
Zeidan went on to express his determination to push forward through “democracy, the ballot box, respecting citizen’s rights and human rights based on an Islamic foundation”.
Diplomats and embassies “could go home”
He warned that embassies and diplomats “could go home. There are some who want to frighten foreigners and embassies”, he stressed.
“I call on all citizens to stand in solidarity with the GNC and government. There could have been tens of deaths of Libyan families living next to the embassy”, he pointed out.
French forces prevented “massacre of Benghazi”
He reminded all that foreign embassies were in Libya “by invitation from Libya”. He reminded Libyans of 19th April 2011 “when French forces came at the right time to prevent a massacre of Benghazi”.
Zeidan insisted that Libya wants good relations with its European neighbours. “We want friendship with our European neighbours for health, study and shopping”.
Barricade of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by armed militias
Regarding this morning’s barricade of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by armed militias, Zeidan admitted and warned that “if this was to continue it would not be good. It is not good for companies, not good for embassies, not good for visas and for those who are ill and need visas”.
The budget is ready to be activated to Ministries this week
Zeidan, as is usually the case when there is a crisis, appealed to the general public. “I ask the people to stand by us”, he pleaded. “The budget is ready to be activated to Ministries this week to restart the projects, the rebuilding and to rebuild all that was destroyed during the war”.
The news of the budget will be welcomed by both Libyans and foreign companies and diplomats alike.
Deaths caused by clashes in the Ajilat region
Referring to the deaths caused by clashes in the Ajilat region, about 90 km west of Tripoli, Zeidan, as usual for his government, sent two mixed messages.
He first preambled about his government’s desire not to spill further Libyan blood by firing at demonstrators – even if they were armed militias. Then he proceeded to warn them of the full force of the government.
He said that he was determined to deal with the Ajilat incident. He insisted that his government will “deal with those who think they want to commit criminal acts; they should know they will have to deal with official forces”.
“A day may come when we might have to take action”, he warned, not for the first time and in a non specific and unthreatening way. [/restrict]