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Friday, May 20, 2022

Libyan GNA Interior Minister: I am willing to meet Khalifa Haftar

Interior Minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bashagha, said that in order for the new government to succeed, Sirte must be completely free of any weapons, mercenaries, or foreign forces.

During a televised interview, he said despite the symbolism and sanctity of the capital Tripoli, he does not mind the transfer of the new authority to the city of Sirte. He noted that the prospective authority required a safe environment to work and that this was not available in Tripoli because of the militias.

He claimed that the electricity crisis afflicting the country is due to network problems prior to the events of 2011. For him, the problem worsened as a result of chaos, corruption, lack of accountability, monitoring, and neglect. Bashagha admitted that there was “no seriousness” in the government to solve the electricity crisis. He claimed that he always asked himself why the electricity problem was not solved, despite the availability of local and international initiatives, funds, and expertise.

Bashagha claimed that corruption is rampant, throughout all state institutions. This is due to the fragility of the state, and the weakness of the supervisory, accounting, and punitive bodies, in addition to poor economic conditions affecting it.

He described the announcement by PM Fayez Al-Sarraj, to resign as a “brave and wise decision.” Bashagha believes that this step aims to push the peace process forward and stressed his support for any dialogue that includes all Libyan parties, under the umbrella of the United Nations.

He said he would not participate in any political dialogue. He stated that the former UN envoy, Ghassan Salame, had urged him to participate in the Geneva dialogue. The minister refused, and did not publicly announce the matter.

Regarding the possibility of sitting down with Khalifa Haftar and Ageela Saleh, Bashagha asserted that he will negotiate with whoever is chosen as representative by the eastern region.

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