Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Libya: Islamists demand half of Ministerial portfolios | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- The political and military scene in Libya yesterday entered a new phase amid calls for a 1 million-strong demonstration in support of the National Transitional Council [NTC], against criticisms and fierce campaign demanding the resignation of its senior officials.

While the NTC and revolutionaries, who are struggling to restore normal life in the capital Tripoli, wait for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Libya as the first one of this kind by a foreign official, NTC officials told Asharq Al-Awsat that the rise in tension between Dr. Mahmud Jibril, chairman of the NTC’s Executive Bureau, and Islamists has started to cast negative shadows on the government that Jibril is occupied in forming and expected to be announced next week. The officials pointed out that pro-Muslim Brotherhood figures and regiments from the armed revolutionaries of Islamic orientation want to have half of the ministerial portfolios to be shared equally between them while a prominent leader from the armed Islamists told Asharq Al-Awsat that his forces should have a political role in the coming stage but refrained to give any further details.

Dr. Jibril, who last week threatened to resign, appears to have no intention of yielding to these pressures under any conditions according to a source close to him which talked to Asharq Al-Awsat.

NTC Chairman Counselor Mustafa Abdul-Jalil prepared for his talks today with the Turkish prime minister following the first talks he held yesterday with Jeffrey Feltman, the US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. Sources from the revolutionaries told Asharq Al-Awsat that the US envoy stressed to Abdul-Jalil the readiness of US President Barack Obama’s administration to help the NTC administer the country’s affairs during the transitional period of 18 months, adding that Abdul-Jalil demanded in return from Washington the release of the frozen Libyan funds in American banks.

Feltman praised the TNC and announced that Washington was optimistic about the TNC’s increased control of the security forces and that it would open its embassy in Tripoli as soon as possible.