By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 28 September 2016:
Presidency Council chairman Faiez Serraj and armed forces commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter have just given interviews which demonstrate how far they are apart, even as Serraj attempts to include Hafter in his plans.
Serraj ventured further than he ever has done when he told journalists in Egypt that Hafter could be part of the new political structure he is trying to build.
“In the reconciliation process, no one is excluded” he said to France 24, “We are trying to bring together all Libyan views.”
The House of Representatives has so far balked at voting through a change to the Constitutional Declaration which would see the ultimate command of the military move from parliament to the Presidency Council.
Two weeks ago UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler said that Hafter had to play a role in the new army. Such a move is sure to draw angry opposition most particularly from Misratans. But today Serraj said that he knew there were disagreements, “but we want to build a united military institution placed under political leadership”.
He later told the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that he was not gong to veto anyone in the new Government of National Accord which the PC is currently putting together. “The door is open to all, ” he said, “We are appealing to all parties and to all military forces in Libya”.
Hafter by contrast, in an interview with AP, displayed little interest in working with Serraj. He repeated his assertion that the PC has been hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood and that western Libya was dominated by heavily-armed criminal gangs.
Though he declined to tell the US news agency if he himself had any leadership ambitions, Hafter did say that Libya would be better off if it had an experienced military leader. He cited Egypt and president Abdel Fattah Sisi. “The military people who were elected to lead their country have achieved remarkable success” he said.