By Sami Zaptia.
London, 2 October 2020:
The head of the Libyan Business Council (LBC), Abdalla Fellah, expressed his extreme disapproval of UNSMIL’s mechanism for choosing members of the Libya Economic Dialogue talks.
UNSMIL, it will be recalled, is mediating a Libyan economic dialogue between the country’s contesting political streams. This ‘‘economic track’’ is part of the three-pronged approach introduced by UNSMIL’s outgoing head, Ghassan Salame, to resolve the Libyan crisis. The Economic Dialogue talks had been meeting in Geneva, but after the Coronavirus pandemic started meeting virtually.
UNSMIL reported that the Economic Dialogue group last met on 18 September.
Speaking to Libya Herald yesterday by phone, Fellah was very incensed with UNSMIL Acting Head Stephanie Williams for failing to include a representative of the LBC at the talks.
Fellah reminded UNSMIL that the LBC ‘‘is the only legally recognized Libya-wide business council with around 1,000 members representing all of Libya. We have our headquarters in Tripoli, an office in Benghazi and we are in the process of opening our office in Sebha. We are a true apolitical, Libya-wide business group’’, he explained.
Fellah was mystified as to why UNSMIL had gone out of its way to exclude the LBC and wondered what criteria and mechanism was used by UNSMIL to choose members of the Economic Dialogue. He added that when it came to representation of the business community, the private sector and Libya’s economic development – the LBC was the best qualified entity to represent it.
The LBC head further stressed that ‘‘achieving Libyan economic stability is not dependant on the UN mission, but rather through the intensification of the efforts of all Libyans to correct the imbalance in the country’s economic system and eliminate corruption from its sources’’, adding that ‘‘this intensification has a key role in the recovery of the economy and the preparation for sustainable development leading to the achievement of the economic and social well-being to which all Libyans aspire’’.
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