Haftar calls for crisis government in Libya

Renegade General Khalifa Haftar said he will continue to fight “terrorism” in Libya

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Libya’s rogue General Khalifa Haftar called Wednesday on the Supreme Judicial Council to establish a crisis government to run the country until a new parliament is elected.

The general who has declared a war against Islamist militants said the existing parliament has “failed it its mission.”

In a statement broadcast by Al Arabiya News Channel, General Haftar, said his anti-Islamist military alliance is seeking to eradicate “terrorism” in Libya.

“Libya has become a state sponsor of terrorism.. Libya’s wealth has been stolen. This is a travesty,” Haftar told reporters in Abyar in eastern Libya.

Firas Bousloum, a Libyan political analyst, told Al Arabiya News that Haftar’s statement was meant to dispel fears that he was executing a “military coup” in Libya.

“This statement is clear and more organized and his call for a civilian crisis government refutes the claims that he is seeking to grab power by military force,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Libyan culture minister announced that he was supporting General Haftar and his so-called “operation dignity” against Islamists.

Libya’s electoral commission said Tuesday that polls will take place on June 25 to replace its disputed interim parliament, according to a report by the Lana state news agency.

A U.S. official said Washington was ready to help usher in new elections in Libya, believing they will pave the way for a more stable government there.

“We certainly would support and encourage Libya to quickly officially announce parliamentary elections,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

“We’re prepared to help support elections preparation from here,” Psaki said, adding that there was a range of different things that Washington could offer, without going into specifics.

“We remain committed to working with all parties to encourage dialogue and unity and to avoid further violence,” she said.

Washington also believed that despite the political and violent turmoil in Libya it would be possible to organize elections.

Militias are blamed for growing unrest in the North African country since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi

Successive governments have complained that the claim by the General National Council (GNC) to executive power as well as legislative authority has tied their hands in taming the militias.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke Wednesday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy as well as other counterparts from Turkey and France “about shared concerns about the dire situation in Libya and what we can do as an international community to support the process moving forward.”

“Elections is certainly part of that,” Psaki told reporters.

“It helps lay a foundation for a more stable Libya because having an elected government that can continue to work on the challenges that need to be addressed... is clearly an important part of what we think needs to happen from here.”

She predicted that there would be “a great deal of support from the United States, and certainly from the international community” to help ensure political stability in the country.

[With AFP]

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