West reaffirms support for Presidency Council “as the sole legitimate government of Libya”, says military must be under civilian control

By Libya Herald reporter.

Tunis, 24 December 2016:

On the eve of Libya’s Independence Day today, seven leading international supporters of the Presidency Council (PC) – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US – issued a statement yesterday praising it for its efforts to rebuild prosperity, security and a united governance to Libya, and for defeating the so-called Islamic State in Sirte,

The PC, the six said, had their “full support”, as did the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). They also spoke of the Government of National Accord produced by the PC as “the sole legitimate government” of Libya and of the need for other countries to cease all contacts with parallel institutions outside the LPA.

The group also condemned threats to use military forces to capture Tripoli – a pointed reference to the recent announcement by the Libyan National Army that it would take the capital. Differences had to be resolved through dialogue and reconciliation, the six insisted.

Welcoming the PC’s 2017 budget approval, the statement called on all the country’s financial institutions to fully cooperate with the PC so that “the country’s legitimate executive authority” could implement economic policies that would address the most urgent needs of Libya’s people.

The reference to the country’s financial institutions fully cooperating with the PC is seen as referring to the Central Bank of Libya which has been blocking funds to the GNA and the PC.

The six also called on the PC “to strengthen its internal cohesion and tackle with renewed determination the multiple security, economic, and social emergencies facing Libya today, first among them building a secure environment.” All military forces, it said, had to be under civilian oversight – a renewed clear rejection of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s objectives of the military running the country.

As to the planned Presidential Guard, the PC needed to speed up its plans to create and deploy it.

Despite speaking of the GNA as Libya’s sole legitimate government, it has not yet been approved by the House of Representatives, as required under the LPA, and consequently is not legal in Libyan law.

 

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