Tunisia's President Reiterates Support For Libya's UN-recognized GNA

Published April 16th, 2020 - 08:09 GMT
Kais Saied (Twitter)
Kais Saied (Twitter)
Highlights
Saied's remarks came after Tunisian Defense Minister Imed Hazgui on Sunday described GNA forces as "militias" in an interview on private Tunisian broadcaster Hannibal TV.

Tunisia's president on Thursday reiterated his country's support of Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

Kais Saied said in a phone call with the head of the GNA Presidential Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, that any statement that "contradicts the official Tunisian position should not disturb the strong and profound relations between the two brotherly countries," according to a statement by al-Sarraj's office.

Saied's remarks came after Tunisian Defense Minister Imed Hazgui on Sunday described GNA forces as "militias" in an interview on private Tunisian broadcaster Hannibal TV.

Saied reiterated Tunisia's support for the GNA, "the only legitimate government in Libya."

Libya, Tunisia's neighbor, suffers from armed conflict, as the militias of a renegade General, Khalifa Hafter, contest the legitimacy and authority of the oil-rich country.

Saied said: "Tunisia rejects foreign interventions in the Libyan affairs, and it is time for these interventions to stop, and give the Libyans the opportunity to solve their problems and live in peace."

He expressed his "confidence in the government's [GNA] ability to extend its powers over the entire Libyan territory," according to the statement.

The GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.

GNA forces took control of six Libyan cities and two strategic areas west of the capital Tripoli and managed to secure the road to the Tunisian border.

For his part, al-Sarraj said: "The Libyans will never forget the positive attitudes of the brothers in Tunisia."

Also, the Tunisian presidency in a statement said Saied told al-Sarraj that "Tunisia adheres to, and will continue to adhere to, legitimacy, because the law is the reference and is the basis."

He reaffirmed that a solution in Libya "can only be among Libyans and expresses the will of the Libyan people alone, who are sovereign, and decide their fate themselves freely from all foreign interference."

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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