Libya’s Prime Minister Withdraws Resignation

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj leaves after an international conference on Libya at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer – RC15F2D52DD0

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj on Friday withdrew his decision to resign and will remain in office until the ongoing intra-Libyan political dialogue is concluded.

The 60-year-old is the head of the Tripoli-based internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

Al-Serraj’s decision comes a day after the High Council of State urged him to stay until a new Presidential Council is selected – to avoid a potential political vacuum, which could come at a detriment to the country’s stability.

The United Nations’ Support Mission in Libya and the country’s parliament in Tripoli also urged the Prime Minister to defer his resignation, citing reasons of higher national interest.

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Al-Serraj announced his plans to resign in September, noting that he would hand over power no later than the end of October, as part of a historic deal to end years of conflict with a rival political faction led by renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar.

Last week, the two warring sides signed an agreement in Geneva for a permanent ceasefire, stating that all foreign fighters and mercenaries are to leave the country within the next three months; and are due to hold in-person negotiations to discuss national elections and the reunification of the armed forces.

Libya descended into a state of civil war after the overthrow and killing of strongman nationalist leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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The North African country was split between two main factions – the GNA in Tripoli, backed by Turkey and Qatar, and Haftar’s forces in the east, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia.


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