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Libyans will not allow Qatar to control their country: former NTC leader

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Libyans appreciate the help of NATO and Qatar in overthrowing the dictatorial regime of Muammar Qaddafi but they will not allow these parties to undermine the country’s national sovereignty, Libya’s former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told Al Arabiya.

Jibril said that if Qatar wants to play any role in his country, it must be subject to Libyan approval.

“Qatar gave a lot to the Libyan revolution, but the Qataris are playing a role that is bigger than their actual potential. The Qataris possess soft power means, which is money and the media, but when a country stretches itself more than its capacity allows, it will be break in the middle,” Jibril said.

Former Libyan foreign minister and current ambassador to the U.N. Abdel-Rahman Shalqam had accused Qatar of seeking to control his country after Qaddafi’s fall.

In comments to “Idaat” – an Al Arabiya TV socio-political talk-show presented by Turki al-Dakheel – Jibril said he resigned from the National Transitional Council (NTC) because he did not have weapons, money, and access to the media.

“I failed because I did not have weapons, I could not reach the media to address the public and I did not have money.”

Jibril criticized what he called the “Qaddafi-era behaviors” and “exclusionary practices” among Libyan politicians and militias. “This has turned into a social culture,” he said.

Regarding the extrajudicial killing of former strongman Qaddafi, Jibril said Libyans must show the opposite of what the dictator represented. “Libyans succeeded in removing the image of Qaddafi and they must now remove him from their culture.”

He said armed militias took over many state institutions and changed their administrations without referring back to the NTC in Tripoli. He said about 31 schools were still controlled by the militias despite a plea by the minister of education that all educational institutions be opened for students.


(Written by Stanella Khalil and Mustapha Ajbaili)