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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Qatar backs Libya unity government in first FM visit in years


Libya has struggled under a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani arrived in Libya on Sunday in the first such high-level visit in years.

The Qatari official met with Libya’s Interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush to discuss relations between the two countries as well as Doha’s role in supporting dialogue in the war-torn nation.

In a press conference, Mangoush announced the soon-to-be reopening of the Qatari diplomatic mission in Libya soon while commending the Gulf state’s support to the country since the 2011 revolution.

“We thank Qatar for its support of Libya’s Presidential Council and the Government of National Unity and its support for political dialogue,” Mangoush told the press conference.

Earlier discussions also called for the formation of joint committees to re-evaluate and study agreements and memoranda of understanding with Qatar, Mangoush added.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammed said Doha would continue its support of Libya to help ensure the success of the political process as well as the country’s stability.

“Our position is consistent with the Libyan people, and we support the political process in Libya under the auspices of the United Nations,” he said.

The Qatari official added that he looks forward to more mutual visits by the Presidential Council and the Government of National Unity to increase opportunities for cooperation.

Read also: Qatar signs security deal with Libya, Haftar condemns

The visit comes following the March formation of Libya’s interim government, which will remain in position until the December elections.

Libya has been mired in chaos since the overthrow of former leader Gaddafi – one of the Arab leaders that faced widespread protests during the 2011 Arab Spring.

Since then, regional and international powers including the UAE, France and Russia have pumped funds into counter revolutionary forces in Libya in a bid to vie for power through  rogue General Khalifa Haftar.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that the conflict in Libya has internally displaced more than 200,000 people. Approximately 1.3 million people need humanitarian assistance.

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