France, Germany, Italy, UK, US welcome new Libya interim government

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France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States welcomed an agreement to form a new interim government for Libya on Friday, saying a “long road still lies ahead.”

Calling the formation of a new interim government a “critical step,” the nations said in a joint statement released in London there was much to be done.

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“The unified executive authority will have to implement the ceasefire agreement, provide essential public services to the Libyan people, initiate a program for meaningful reconciliation, address critical national budget needs, and organize national elections,” they said.

Mohammad Younes Menfi, a Libyan diplomat with a support base in the country’s east, was chosen to head the three-person Presidential Council. Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah, a powerful businessman backed by western tribes, was chosen as interim prime minister.

The UN process, known as the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, was aimed at choosing an interim authority to oversee Libya as part of an effort to rebuild state institutions and lead to national elections planned for Dec. 24.

The three council members each represent Libya’s east, west and south regions.

Capping a UN-led diplomatic process that began in Berlin in January last year, forum delegates began meeting on Monday in an undisclosed location near Geneva, before reducing their selection on Friday to four, then two, and finally one list of candidates for interim prime minister and the council.

The voting took place under the mediation of the UN secretary-general’s acting special representative for Libya, Stephanie Williams, in hopes to bring stability to an oil-rich North African country that has been largely lawless since former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed in 2011.

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