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Ghwell: Libya’s Interest Requires Concessions | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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National Salvation Government Prime Minister Khalifa Ghwell gestures during an interview with Reuters, in Tripoli, Libya, February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Cairo – Libya’s best interest requires offering concessions, said National Salvation Government Prime Minister Khalifa Ghwell.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, he stated that his major focus is on establishing a coherent state but affirmed that this can’t be achieved through a national dialogue that is restricted to individuals agreeing over their personal ambitions.

Ghwell stressed that an effective and applicable solution will not come from outside Libya but it has to be through an internal Libyan dialogue sponsored by international organizations and not countries.

He added that there is no army in Libya at this moment but there are some attempts in this pursuit.

“The militias and armed groups are a problem all Libyan cities suffer from with no exceptions due to the political void and the absence of the central authority,” said Ghwell.

Speaking on his conditions to carry out a dialogue with Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, he said that there are no prior conditions to carry out a dialogue that maintains the state’s unity and sovereignty.

“The danger threatening Libya is bigger than political disputes… Libya is passing through its worst phase: its unity is threatened, its sovereignty is violated and its decision comes from abroad,” he continued.

PM added: “We welcome any dialogue that leads to a progression towards the comprehensive reconciliation and ends this division.”

Asked about his opinion on possible solutions for the problem of militias spread in Libyan regions, he warned that in case Libya does not reach a political solution then these militias will remain present but in case of an agreement then there will be a strong insistence to dissolve them.

Commenting on accusations against the government that it is a cover-up of extremist groups in Libya especially fighting groups, Ghwell attributed these accusations to the government’s patriotic stances.

“In west Libya, only we demanded that the intellect of various ideological groups stays away from the authority. We have clear statements. We want a political life that grants everyone the opportunity to be part of it but for the best interest of the country and not for the groups’ greedy interests,” he said.

Ghwell continued that the Muslim Brotherhood in the beginning had the purpose of achieving God’s quote that Muslims are brothers but it has crossed this line and become an institution of economic and political interests that contradict with this concept.