By Farah Waleed.
Tripoli, 26 January 2015:
The head of the “government” appointed by the rump General National Congress and supported by Libya . . .[restrict]Dawn, Omar Al-Hassi, has claimed that the US Justice Department and his administration are collaborating on humanitarian reconstruction in Libya. As a result, he said, the US would be sending food, medical supplies and electricity generator ships to Libya as of next Monday.
Revealing this startling news at a press conference this evening in Tripoli, Hassi said that revolutionaries would secure Libyan ports and airports as of Wednesday ahead of the anticipated deliveries. He expressed the fear, however, that the supplies might be bombed by aircraft controlled by Khalifa Hafter.
Expressing his thanks to the Americans, he said while his “government” was working hard to establish security for everyone in Libya, it needed help from neighbouring states and friendly countries.
The US supplies, he claimed, were the result of an internationally-backed initiative which was intended to help all Libyans, regardless of where they were. They would delivered to Tripoli, Misrata, Zawiya, as well as towns in the Jebel Nafusa and south and central Libya (but apparently not eastern Libya) and that municipal councils, civil society organisations, elders and young people, men and women would be needed to help in the distribution.
Turning to the issue of the UN-sponsored dialogue talks in Geneva, Hassi firmly rejected the suggestion of a National Unity Government. UNSMIL head Bernardino Leon was wrong about Libya’s needs, he said. The issue was not about the government, it was about the House of Representatives. The Supreme Court had dissolved it, he claimed, and had legalised the General National Congress as Libya’s parliament. It in turn had formed his government. It was the only legitimate one.
Hassi also condemned the invitation to municipal councils to the talks in Geneva. They were exceeding their powers by participating, he said. The only thing they were elected to do, he insisted, was to provide services to residents.
“I want to end this war setting my conditions as the victor” he added, indicating that he had no intention of accepting any compromise in the current crisis and will be resolute to the end.
This is not the first time that the Hassi team has claimed that Western governments were now working with them or about to recognise them. There have been statements that the British had sent a military delegation, that Italian MPs had arrived, that Hassi’s ministers were about to be invited for talks in Germany. All have proved fantasies.
In this latest claim regarding the Americans, Hassi did not say if the US cavalry was also expected to arrive.
Late this evening, Deborah Jones, the US ambassador to Libya tweeted from Malta, where she has relocated: “US gov’t does not recognize or support Al-Hasi government”. [/restrict]