By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 8 March 2017:
Aref Nayed, the former Libyan ambassador to the UAE, who is seen as a possible candidate from the premiership, has attacked the international community for not supporting Khalifa Hafter’s Libyan National Army (LNA) as its fights the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) which he described as an “Al-Qaeda” army. It was in alliance with Al-Qaeda affiliates and the Muslim Brotherhood, he declared.
“Thank God for the LNA, who has been fighting terrorists for three years without any international support,” he told a conference of largely Trump supporters in Washington. But the international community was undermining its efforts, he said.
“No one is helping the LNA when 6,000 youngsters [with the LNA] have been killed,” he stated.
On the contrary, the international community and the US had given its blessing to what was Al-Qaeda in Libya.
Attacking the two for forcing Islamists on Libya “again and again”, he pointed out that the political wings in the country of the Muslim Brotherhood and of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), aligned to Al-Qaeda, had twice been massively rejected in elections by the Libyan people, gaining just five percent of the vote.
“Yet we were told [by the former Obama administration] to give them 50 percent of the power in power sharing mediated by the UN.”
He accused the former administration of ignoring his constant warnings that the Islamists were gaining a hold in Libya.
Over the past six years, he said, Libya had spent $2 billion, but none of it had gone on the country’s needs – on new hospitals or roads or schools. It had gone building up the reserves of the Brotherhood and of the LIFG. They had a transnational agenda of creating an Islamic state and were making Libya “their ATM and their gas station” to achieve it.
The Islamists’ aim would threaten “the entire region including Europe”, he said, yet Libyans had been told by the former US administration to be inclusive of the MB and the Islamists.
“While we’re being patient and inclusive, these guys are attacking Benghazi.”
The Trump administration had not yet had the time to revamp its Libya policy and replace its Libya embassy staff who were promoting it, he said, but it had to quickly look at what was happening in Libya and stop seeing the MB as a key ally in rebuilding the country. In particular, it has to stop blindly following a policy of support for the existing Presidency Council. This needed to be changed, he insisted.