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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Cairo: Khaled Mahmoud - Mohammed Nabil Helmi

Libya: Bashagha Chairs First Meeting in Sebha

Libya's Fathi Bashagha (Reuters)

The Libyan government, chaired by Fathi Bashagha, held its first official meeting in the southern city of Sebha after failing to enter the capital, Tripoli.

At the onset of the meeting, Bashagha said that the assembly was conducted in Sebha to ensure that the government is for all Libyans and regions.

Bashagha stated that Libya is not to be seized by a particular person, government, or family that believes it can buy the country with the money of the Libyans, in reference to his rival Abdulhamid Dbeibeh.

"The era of corruption, chaos, and despotism is gone. Today marks the beginning of a new national era where all Libyans will unite to achieve reform, reconstruction, and justice," said Bashagha.

Before the Sebha meeting, Bashagha pledged more than once to enter Tripoli and exercise his governmental duties from within.

The government renewed its commitment to pursuing the "peaceful option" to assume its duties in the capital.

Meanwhile, the official Tunisian news agency (TAP) quoted a brief statement from the Department of Information and Communication in the Dbeibeh government denying any tensions in the relations with Tunisia.

TAP asserted that Dbeibeh's recent meeting with the Tunisian ambassador in Tripoli was fraternal and cordial, addressing ways to enhance cooperation in various fields, contrary to what is being promoted.

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Libya Richard Norland and Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric Meyer discussed with the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) Governor the joint efforts to enhance transparency at the CBL, especially in public spending.

Norland underlined that "The US shares Libyan concerns that funds can be diverted to support partisan political purposes or undermine Libya's peace and security."

The Ambassador and Meyer urged the CBL to safeguard Libya's oil revenue from misappropriation to rebuild confidence in the institution and contribute to stability.

The participants in the call jointly reaffirmed that it is critical to provide financial support for the National Oil Corporation's operations, even as discussions continue to reach broad agreement on other government expenditures.

Norland also expressed concern about half of Libya's oil production shutdown.

"Forced, prolonged disruptions to oil production create adverse conditions for the Libyan people, including power outages, water supply issues, fuel shortages, and damage to oil infrastructure, threatening the future of Libya's energy sector and its ability to continue generating revenue for the benefit of the people," said Norland.

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