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Al-Swehly: Does Haftar influence the HoR

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Heba Mahmoud

In the last two days, the head of the State Council, Abdul-Rahman Al-Swehly, convened different meetings, indicating that the important changes are about to lead the new Libyan scene.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed website interviewed Al-Swehly, after his meeting with the Tunisian President, Baji Caid Essibssi, the Tunisian Parliament President, Mohamed Nasser, and the Tunisian Foreign Minister Khamis Jhainawy, as well as the Russian, the American, the Chinese, the Spanish, and the South Korean ambassadors.

Al-Swehly said that the Tunisian initiative is faithfully sincere in resolving the Libyan crisis, Tunisia has the same interests of the Libyans, adding that “Tunisia feared the time is up to interfere directly, try to get all Libyan factions together to get to a resolution, besides that Tunisia is on the same line with all Libyans.”

He added that “when saying a breakthrough is very soon, I mean within weeks we will see positive developments, like many Libyan factions, including the International Community and me, are almost very exhausted, no one will accept more continuation of the current situation, and we have to accept negotiations and make mutual comprising to find resolutions.”

Many including Al-Swehly, the head of the Presidential Council (PC), Fayez Al-Sarraj, the head of the House of Representatives (HoR), Ageela Saleh, and other explicitly expressed their position regarding the Tunisian initiative. In this regard, Al-Swehly said that “we know that Tunisia has communications with all parties, hardly seeking to persuade hesitant factions, we hear positive signs, most parties are ready to join.”

Regarding the commander of the army of the HoR, General Khalifa Haftar, Al-Swehly said that “the Tunisian embassy has direct contacts with all parties, as for Haftar, he can’t keep away from the Libyan consensus for an extended time.”

About the foreign support, Al-Swehly said that “let us get the fact that the Libyan crisis won’t be solved unless the foreign players halt their unlimited support to their allies inside Libya, when that happens, Libyans will sit together within one or two weeks. The real problem is exploiting the Libyan crisis to achieve the political gains.”

Concerning the international posture, Al-Swehly said that “the positions of the Western powers, especially the permanent members of the Security Council, are very active and encouraging, they want a quick political solution, especially the Russian ambassador, who stressed the Russia’s support to Shkirat agreement to get to acceptable resolutions to all parties, the American ambassador confirmed that the US is the same distance from all parties.”

On latest events in Tripoli, Al-Swehly said that “such events are not new, in 2012-2013, similar clashes erupted in Tripoli and other cities, but events are exaggerated. It is a just continuation to previous clashes. We, the State Council, after was targeted by almost 200 attacks from armed groups, demand an end to the deteriorated security situation and weapons proliferation. Some only address political messages, showing that the capital is no longer safe. Some parties are looking for a role of theirs through such confrontations, but it is nonsense, as they lack clear agenda. From our side, we seek to expand the national reconciliation and persuade all parties to join the process.”

Al-Swehly also stressed the need to reach certain resolutions to halt weapons spread across the country; it is a well-known problem, everyone admits it, including the International Community, adding that “in the coming weeks we might see positive developments in this regard.”

Observers see Haftar as the biggest obstacle to the Libyan crisis, in this regard Al-Swehly said that “I don’t want to personalize matters, but it is known that those who control the HoR impeded the political accord and hindered resolutions, other side parties took advantage of the situation, but the problem is inside the HoR. The HoR is the main party, without its cooperation with the State Council and the PC, there would be constant legitimacy issues. Haftar has a crucial role in the HoR, but we don’t know who is in charge, does it Haftar or the HoR, we don’t have an adequate answer for that.”