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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud

Washington Warns of Risks of Forming New Govt in Libya

People cross a street at Martyrs Square in Tripoli, Libya, July 5, 2021. (Reuters)

US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland again threatened to hold to account the sides that are hindering the political process in the country.

In remarks to CNN on Saturday, he warned of the dangers of forming a new government before the presidential and parliamentary elections are held.

"Almost three million people - half the population - who registered to vote, who want to vote, were disappointed that the vote was postponed. Any Libyan leaders seen as stalling in this process should recognize they have to account to the people for delaying that process," he added.

"There is a realistic prospect of elections taking place by the end of June if the leaders make necessary compromises," he remarked, while citing United Nations efforts to hold the polls.

"Three million Libyans feel that elections are what their country needs to move forward, to get the economy going, to control the borders so that Libya is not a gateway for terrorists or migrants."

"There is a realistic prospect of this happening in June. The challenge is that you set the date and it passes again and then loses credibility."

"There are those who are trying to establish a new government. There is a risk that that would be a distraction from the electoral process and could create a dynamic of a parallel government," Norland warned.

He cited the ongoing presence of mercenaries in Libya and their role in destabilizing the situation, which raises questions over how much the Libyans have control over their country.

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