By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 30 September 2013:
There was a quality turnout to the reception hosted by the US embassy at its compound . . .[restrict]yesterday evening in Tripoli.
The reception was held ‘’to welcome new colleagues to the US embassy in Tripoli’’ the official invitation said, but it was also to make up for the Ramadan Iftar thrown by the US embassy back in July which due to a last minute security alert the ambassador failed to turn up to.
This would have, therefore, been the first chance for the newly installed US ambassador to officially host a cross section of Libyan society. Although in reality ambassador Jones had wasted no time in socializing as soon as she had stepped off her plane back in June with appearances at the British Queen’s Birthday Party and at a popular local café.
Ambassador Deborah Jones was definitely present yesterday greeting guests at the entrance, switching from English to Arabic – with total ease and command.
The out of town location and hot night may have reduced the turnout to around 200 people, but a cross section of Tripoli society was present including diplomats, politicians, NGOs, business people, trainees of various US programmes – and Libya Herald.
The quality of turnout was indicated by the presence of at least four ministers that Libya Herald got round to greeting, including the Minister of Defence and at least five leading GNC members.
The top topics of debate amongst the huddles of guests and hosts included the oil strikes, including the news that broke during the evening regarding the stoppage at the Eni Oil Wafa oil and gas field in western Libya. The issue of security, or lack of it, followed closely and very much linked to the oil strikes.
Libya Herald was very surprised, however, by the off record criticism that Ali Zeidan received from some of the GNC members present. Whispering discreetly and away from any foreign ears, GNC members were scathing of the Zeidan government’s ineffectiveness and their inability to remove him.
The GNC members Libya Herald spoke too were equally frank and honest about the ineffectiveness of their own body. “If Libyans are counting on these (GNC members) to get them out of the crises, you are going to have to wait for four to six years”, a leading GNC member confided in Libya Herald.
Asked why was it that the GNC has repeatedly failed to get a vote of no confidence in Zeidan passed in the chamber, one GNC member blamed it on the National Forces Alliance desire to stick with him. They know that he is ineffective he added, but they would rather have him than an Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood, shorthand for the Justice and Construction Party) prime minister.
The GNC members were equally perturbed by the economic and financial policy that Zeidan was following which was apparently pointed out in strong terms by a recent visit by the IMF. [/restrict]