WASHINGTON, DC, 24 March 2021 – The United States of America has welcomed the formation of an interim government in Libya, the first step out of a decade of chaos.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the setting up of the interim government an “important milestone” in the process of ending the decade-long conflict in the country.
Blinken spoke Monday via phone with Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.
The Biden administration has said it supports the “inclusive political process” unfolding in the north African nation.
Blinken also encouraged PM Hamid Dbeibah’s government to work on restoring essential public service and to guarantee free, fair, and credible elections planned for next December 24.
The elections are expected to be preceded by the adoption of a permanent constitution.
Selected during a United Nations-brokered peace process, Dbeibah will head the interim government until the election.
The interim government, also known as the government of national unity, is the first internationally-backed effort to reunite the country which split after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi ten years ago.
The interim authorities come from members of the UN-backed government that was based in the capital, Tripoli, and members of the rival administration, which was based in the eastern city of Benghazi and headed by the warlord Khalifa Haftar.
The eastern-based Libyan government on Tuesday handed over the reins of power to the exclusive Libyan government: The Government of National Unity.
The handover ceremony was led by Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Al-Gatrani who was accompanied by the new unified Ministers of Interior, Planning, Finance, Youth, Education, Higher Education, Technical Education, Housing, Construction, and Agriculture.
In his speech to mark the occasion, Gatrani confirmed the end of Libya’s stage of division, and that the new Government of National Unity was established to serve all citizens in all parts of the country.
Gatran also thanked outgoing eastern Libyan prime minister Abdalla Thinni and his Ministers for the efforts they had made during the past years to serve the country and the citizen.
A ceasefire negotiated and sealed thanks to the mediation of the Swiss government continues to hold.
However, the implementation of other parts of the agreements, including notably ensuring the removal “without delay” of “all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya” faces serious challenges with most foreign forces staying put.