‘Foreign powers’ blamed for Libya’s instability

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Rome, Sep 12 (IANS/AKI) Libya’s UN-backed Premier Fayez al-Sarraj accused “foreign powers” of destabilizing the oil-rich country in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper on Wednesday.

“Serious and long-term solutions have not been found to solve very deep internal divisions,” Sarraj told Corriere, urging the international community to heed Libya’s call for more help to end the violent turmoil.

“We can’t achieve this alone and need your assistance,” he stated.

Terrorist groups in lawless Libya are seeking to undermine the country’s stability by exploiting its weaknesses and the warfare allows human and arms traffickers and other criminal gangs to thrive, Sarraj said.

“But there are also foreign powers working against us for their own interests. We know that some militias are being secretly armed from abroad,” Sarraj said.

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“They know well (who they are). And they do not want a sovereign Libya,” Sarraj stated. “Some neighbouring countries are capitalising on our internal chaos for their own gain.”

Libya remains wracked by violence seven years after the NATO-backed ouster of its former dictator Moamer Gaddafi.

The UN brokered a fragile truce on September 4 after deadly militia clashes in Tripoli erupted in late August.

But less than a week later, four people died and 10 were injured on Monday in an attack at the Libyan National Oil Corp headquarters in the capital by suspected Islamic State jihadists.

In the Corriere interview, Sarraj warned against a military takeover of Tripoli and urged his key political rival, eastern military leader Khalifa Haftar, to work with his government “for common objectives and against unilateral initiatives”.

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Elections cannot be held until security is restored in Libya, Sarraj told Corriere – a view shared by the Italian government.

–IANS/AKI

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