By Libya Herald staff.
Tunis, 20 June 2015:
The Deputy US Secretary of State Tony Blinken has told Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Thinni . . .[restrict]that Washington views Draft No. 4, presented to members of the UN-brokered Dialogue, as the best solution to the present Libyan crisis and, while not perfect, should be supported.
In a telephone conversation, he said that the political situation had to be resolved now so that attention could be focused on the threat from terrorism.
According to a US official, Blinken also assured Thinni that the US would work very closely with the Libyan government in the fight against terrorism and to ensure the country’s security and safety.
A fortnight ago, three days before the fourth draft was issued, Blinken phoned the president of the continuing General National Congress, Nuri Abu Sahmain. The aim, the official said, was the same: to encourage the GNC to support the process.
The latest call, the official explained, was because Thinni’s government was the internationally-recognised one and the US also wanted to remove any concerns about the role of the proposed State Council. Blinken had assured Thinni that the HoR would be the legislature and would have a two-year lease of life under the draft.
Meanwhile, the US had not suggesting any candidates for the post of prime minister, the official added, stressing that names had to come from the Libyan side.
Collaboration between the US and the Thinni government in the fight against terrorism is taking place despite earlier statements from Washington that it would not supply military equipment to Libya until a government of national unity was in place. Last Sunday, a US missile killed at least seven militants meeting in Ajdabiya. The Americans, who were clearly provided information by Libyans on the ground, subsequently admitted that Algerian terrorist leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar was the target.
It is still not known if he was killed or even present at the meeting. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has since said that he is “still alive and well and he wanders and roams in the land of Allah”, but there have been no photos or videos to prove the claim. [/restrict]