EYE ON LIBYA: UN, UNSMIL Laud New Interim Libya Government

By Janet Ekstract

ISTANBUL (TURKISH JOURNAL) – In a press statement on February 5, acting Special Representative and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Stephanie Williams, praised the Libya Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) for its success in choosing an interim government for Libya. Williams commented: “On behalf of the United Nations, I am pleased to witness this historic moment.”  The 74-member UN-led forum made its choices for interim prime minister and president of its new executive council.

The new interim president is Mohammad Younes Menfi who will serve as President of the Presidency Council together with Mossa Al-Koni and Abdullah Hussein Al-Lafi.  In addition, Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah was chosen in a majority vote to serve as prime minister designate. The executive and transitional  prime minister  will now work to form a full unified government. Williams lauded the LPDF efforts, saying: “Our bet was that you would be able to build a truly Libyan owned solution. And that is what you have done” The acting UNSMIL chief added: “You overcame your difference, divisions and the many challenges you have faced during this difficult, but fruitful journey in the interests of your country and of the Libyan people.”

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement to the press at the United Nations, praised the results of the interim election while calling on all members of the LDPF and international stakeholders in the Libyan peace process to “respect the results of the vote.” Guterres especially praised new promises made by the new interim executive that committed to, as the secretary-general said: “reflecting political pluralism, geographical representation and its commitment to include no less than 30 percent of women in executive positions as well as to ensure the participation of youth.”

In addition, Guterres reminded the newly elected executive and everyone involved in the process, to make sure that “principles and timelines” are adhered to according to the agreed upon roadmap with an eye toward holding democratic elections on December 24.  The UN chief concluded: “The United Nations commitment to support the Libyan people in their efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous country will continue.” Special Representative Williams reiterated that sentiment when she said: “The importance of the decision that you have taken here today will grow with the passage of time in the collective memory of the Libyan people.”

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