Qatar backs Libya's stability amid political impasse

Qatar backs Libya's stability amid political impasse By Mehak Arora - August 18, 2022
Qatar backs Libya's stability amid political impasse

Qatar reaffirms its commitment to Libya's stability

Qatar reaffirmed its support for the unity and stability of Libya during a Tuesday meeting between Qatari and French diplomats in Paris

Mohammed Al Khulaifi, Qatar's Assistant Foreign Minister for Regional Affairs, and Paul Soler, the Special Envoy of the French President to Libya, discussed the matter, according to Doha's foreign ministry.

According to Al Khulaifi, Qatar supports "the political path in Libya" and "all peaceful solutions that preserve Libya's unity, stability, and sovereignty."

Qatar reaffirms its commitment to Libya's stability

The meeting occurred weeks after armed groups affiliated with the Presidency Council clashed in Tripoli and Misrata. According to Reuters, at least thirteen people were killed in the standoff, including three civilians.

As political unrest persists, there have been multiple outbreaks of violence nationwide.

Political Division

In Libya, tensions have increased between the Government of National Unity (GNU), backed by the United Nations and led by Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dbeibeh, and the rival administration of Fathi Bashagha.

In 2012, the GNU assumed power after a lengthy period of instability following the removal of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Qatar has long been a proponent of a political solution to the ongoing unrest and a supporter of the internationally recognized government.

It was anticipated that the Dbeibeh administration would rule until the presidential elections in December 2021. However, the date was changed to January 24 this year, days before the High National Election Committee (HNEC) elections.In February, Bashagha was sworn in after being appointed by the House of Representatives in the east. This has resulted in a political rift between two rival administrations, with Dbeibeh refusing to resign.

On May 17, as tensions in Libya increased, Bashagha attempted to seize control of Tripoli. Bashagha was expelled from the capital city within hours of the conflict's outbreak.

Bashagha is believed to be allied with warlord General Khalifa Haftar, who, in 2019 and 2020, led a massive offensive to depose the GNU. However, Turkey's military intervention ended the war.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, conflict in Libya has displaced more than 200,000 people. 1,300,000 individuals require humanitarian assistance.

In July, a federal judge in Virginia ordered Haftar, a dual American-Libyan citizen, to compensate the families of war victims. The lawsuits were filed in 2019 and 2020 according to the United States Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991.

The case was put on hold due to the postponement of the Libyan elections.

As a result of the lack of elections, protests erupted in various regions of Libya in July, causing concern among human rights organizations and international organizations such as the United Nations.

Organizations linked to Haftar ceased funding Dbeibah's government to exert pressure on the GNU. However, this has put more civilian lives at risk.

Only after Dbeibah appointed Haftar ally Farhat Bengdara as CEO of the state oil company was the three-month blockade lifted. The Libyan government lost more than $3 billion in revenue during the embargo.

In the coming days, Aguila Saleh, the Libyan House of Representatives speaker, and Khalid Al-Mishri, the head of Libya's High Council of State, will meet in Egypt to discuss the steps required to hold the delayed elections.

By Mehak Arora - August 18, 2022

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