By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 18 February 2016:
Pressure on the House of Representatives to back . . .[restrict]the new government proposed by the Presidency Council may have been increased today after seven countries issued a joint statement.
The governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UAE, the UK and the USA said that the HoR now faced a solemn responsibility. They urged the parliament to accept in its entirety the list of proposed ministers.
They said that they noted “the spirit of openness and reconciliation embodied in this cabinet. It is not easy to choose the path of reconciliation, but addressing Libya’s humanitarian, economic and security crises requires great courage”.
Their statement continued: “We will stand with those who choose this path forward”. They added that by contrast continued division would only benefit IS “and other extremist groups that want to tear Libya apart”.
Yesterday in Cairo, where he had met prime minister-designated Faiez Serraj, UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler had given a similar warning.
“Every day lost in political dialogue is a day of gain for Daesh (IS)“ He added that IS was expanding in the midst of Libya’s chaos and anarchy.
Meanwhile Qatar, which last year sought to broker a peace between Tebu and Tuareg in Obari, has now been seeking to reconcile Islamist within Libya Dawn who are divided over the Libyan Political Accord and the resulting Government of National Accord.
There are unconfirmed reports that the Qataris flew a number of Dawn’s Islamist leaders to Doha for talks two days ago, on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Revolution. Those opposing the GNA included the rump GNC’s First deputy president Awad Abdul Saddeq and Abdul Wahab Mohamed Abu Baker Gaed, who leads the hardline Islamist Muqatila group in the GNC. Gaed, who is believed to be a Tebu, is from Murzuq and may therefore have been connected with the Qatari efforts to broker the Obari ceasefire. He is said to be close to Abdul-Hakim Belhaj .
Among those taken to Doha who want to accept the GNA were reportedly former GNC second deputy president Salah Makhzoum who along with seven GNC colleagues was expelled early this month for signing the LPA in Skirhat. The pro-GNA invitees also included Justice and Construction party leader Mohamed Sawan and fellow party member Nizar Kawan.
There are as yet no reports of the outcome of the Doha meeting nor of which political direction the Qataris were urging on their guests. [/restrict]