By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 17 March 2016:
Prime minister-designate and Presidency Council head Faiez Seraj will be asked by France’s foreign minister . . .[restrict]tomorrow to state Libya’s military needs and the political support France can give the Presidency.
Speaking in Tunis today ahead of the meeting, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that the Government of National Accord (GNA) had to go to Tripoli as soon as possible.
“It is indispensable that this government is set up in Tripoli,” he said at a press conference in the Tunisian capital. It had to be in the capital if Libyans and the international community were to recognise its legitimacy, he added. “It has to be in Tripoli. We need to help that,” he said.
Ayrault is currently on a two-day visit to Tunis that is focussing primarily on Franco-Tunisian relations.
The talks between him and Serraj tomorrow mean that the latter’s planned move to Tripoli will be delayed. He had said to an number of individuals earlier this week that he and the Presidency Council would go to Tripoli on Friday, although he reportedly told others that it could be on Sunday or Tuesday. In a TV interview today he said simply that he would go in a matter of days.
He also said in the interview that foreign assistance would be welcome but not uninvited foreign intervention. Libyan sovereignty had to be respected, he said. However, he also indicated that foreign airstrikes against Islamic State forces (IS) would happen, saying they had to be coordinated with his government.
In other points in the interview with Amman-based Libya’s Channel, Serraj said that the common fight against IS should unite Libyans and that, before approving his new government, the House of Representatives should first amend the Constitutional Declaration to include the Libyan Political Agreement. He also claimed that there was agreement with many of the armed groups in Tripoli about providing security in the city for his government, and that he would also be going to Benghazi soon.
Meanwhile a delegation sent by Serraj today met Ibrahim Jadhran in Ras Lanuf, according to the Beida-based office of the Libyan news agency LANA. There are no details as to what was decided.
Jadhran has been a prominent supporter of the GNA. [/restrict]