By Libya Herald staff.
Tunis, 14 April 2105:
As Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni heads to Moscow to rebuild relations with Russia, a delegation . . .[restrict]of leading members of the House of Representatives (HoR) has flown to Washington for talks with members of the US Congress and Obama administration. The team consists of heads and members of a number of HoR committees, plus three HoR officials.
Originally it consisted of seven HoR members, but was expanded to 13.
The visit has been organised by the Libyan embassy in Washington in a bid to ensure US support for the HoR’s position as the democratically-elected and sole legitimate legislature in the country.
Late last week, commenting on the visit, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said that the US looked forward to discussing the HoR’s work “with the UN Special Representative Leon in support of the UN-led process to constitute a national unity government”.
At one point last week, however, it seemed that the delegation, which had been waiting in Tunis for a week for US visas, might give up and head home after only four were issued. This was then increased by another six and the lawmakers were told that all should be ready by Monday. “It’s a sensitive issue,” a Libyan official told the Libya Herald at the time, adding that the team would wait till then to decide what to do. In the event, the other visas were granted and the team flew off yesterday.
The delegation is expected to stay in the US capital several days.
Earlier this month, a group of women HoR members were also in Washington to persuade the White House and Congress to pay more attention to what is going on in Libya, in particular the erosion of women’s rights, and to support the HoR.