Libyan government denies resignation of prime minister

2015-08-12 14:08
File: AP

File: AP

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Cairo (dpa) - Libya's internationally recognised government on Wednesday denied that Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni had tendered his resignation after the premier appeared overnight to say he was stepping down.

Al-Thinni's remarks did not amount to an official resignation, which could only be tendered in writing to the parliament, government spokesperson Hatem Ureibi said in remarks quoted by the Libyan news site al-Wasat.

Al-Thinni, who heads one of the conflict-racked North African country's two rival governments, had been asked by an interviewer on Libya Channel television on Tuesday night whether he would resign if Libyans came out onto the streets to demand that he go.

"If our departure was the solution, I announce it here live on air, I'm tendering my resignation," the premier replied.

"Now we have tendered our resignation and congratulations to them [the people]," al-Thinni said at the end of the heated interview. "Let them bring whoever can solve their problems for them with a magic wand."

Main powers

Al-Thinni made his remarks after UN Libya envoy Bernardino Leon said rival factions should conclude a peace deal in time for the annual UN General Assembly meeting in mid-September.

The goal is to finish negotiations by the end of August and sign a deal to end the civil strife before the UN body meets in New York, Leon said Tuesday during a new round of talks on the pact in Geneva.

Leon also criticized moves by al-Thinni to bring the state oil company and the central bank more closely under his government's control, saying the initiatives were "against the spirit of the agreement."

Members of the internationally recognised parliament in Tobruk, the Islamist-leaning rival parliament in Tripoli and other factions attended the Geneva talks to work out the details of a draft peace agreement that was initialled last month in Morocco.

One key goal was to agree on choosing a premier and two deputy premiers for a unity government.

Libya's conflict has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Amid the chaos, the country has turned into a major hub for immigrants crossing the Mediterranean, and Islamist State extremists have gained a foothold there.

The country has suffered from turmoil since a 2011 revolt ended the rule of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The numerous militias that arose during the revolt have become the main powers in the country, lining up behind the two rival governments but not necessarily under their control.

Read more on:    abdullah al-thinni  |  libya  |  north africa
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