By Sami Zaptia.
London, 29 April 2016:
In a keynote pre-recorded television address broadcast late last night, Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime . . .[restrict]Minister-designate and head of the Presidential Council (PC), Faiez Serraj said that he was happy to be addressing the Libyan public from the heart of Tripoli which many had bet would be impossible to enter without fighting and chaos.
The entry was peaceful and without the shedding of a single drop of blood, he said.
In a seven minute speech which he used to summarize the achievements and some of the plans of the PC/GNA, Serraj admitted that the political process, which Libyans had paid the price for, was not easy.
The political process’s one aim is stability, safety and security and an honourable life, he stressed.
Serraj, speaking two days short of a month since his dramatic entry by boat to Tripoli’s Bu Sitta Naval Base, said we have now reached the stage of practical implementation. Enough argument and talk. There is no time to waste in political debates., he said, adding that it was time for work.
We are working tirelessly to complete the commitments of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). We started work as soon as we arrived on a series of meetings with all the various leaderships of institutions and society, he pointed out.
As a result of these meetings we have put in place quick plans and solutions for the problems faced by citizens, especially those involving everyday life.
We implemented a number of solutions for all Libyans across the country: unpaid salaries; cash shortages; raising the ceiling of foreign currency transfers; debit cards; the opening of Letters of Credit for basic needs and foodstuffs; and urgent medical supplies and electricity, he claimed.
We did not ignore the security situation as we contacted the military leadership and militias all over the country. We noted their desire to join in building a state of institutions and law.
We also met opponents of the LPA to attempt to narrow differences as our policy is of compromise and reconciliation. We have taken control of a number of ministerial buildings secured only by the ministry of interior, he stressed, countering claims that his government was beholden to militias.
He said that the PC/GNA counted on popular support which it had felt upon entering Tripoli. He said he was aware of the need to quickly achieve gains in order to lighten the burden on citizens.
The PC/GNA represents all Libyans, including opponents of the LPA, but the PC/GNA must put national interest above all, he stressed.
He called upon the House of Representatives (HoR) to complete its commitment as the only legitimate legislature in the country, referring to its failure to vote on the GNA. He also called on all bodies to stay within boundaries set within the LPA without causing any further divisions, referring to the State Council accused by critics of overstepping its boundaries.
He said that Daesh/IS posed a serious threat and that a national strategic plan has been put in place to get rid of it but without any foreign interference, he stressed, countering numerous local and international rumours and reports of the imminent arrival of a foreign force.
Serraj said that they have called upon the GNA’s defence minister to put in place a plan and form a unified command that includes all forces from all over Libya to liberate Sirte from IS, scuppering separate plans by the various forces to act unilaterally.
Moreover, he warned that he will not allow the battle for the liberation of Sirte to be used for political leverage and personal gains. Notably, he saluted those who fought IS in Benghazi, Derna, Sabratha and Sidra. This war is not in the name of loyalties to personalities or political or ideological streams, but in the name of Libya and the nation, he concluded. [/restrict]