Reports that the two deputy prime ministers from eastern Libya in the presidency council headed by Faiez Serraj have resigned and left Tunis in a row over the role of General Khalifa Hafter and government appointments are, it turns out, somewhat wide of the mark.
Both Ali Gatrani and Fathi Majbari were still this afternoon, Tuesday, at the Residence Hotel in the Tunis suburb of Gammarth where the council is meeting throughout the week, although it appears there was a spat over appointments.
“It’s just negotiating tactics,” said one official attending the talks which at present are focussed on the unity government’s agenda. “They’ve not yet started discussing ministers,” the official said.
House of Representatives’ member Essa Al-Araibi who ten days ago came out in support of Serraj’s national unity government, said that the both men had pulled out of the presidency council while Tobruk member Idris Omran told Hafter’s Karama TV that both men had walked out over appointments.
“Both threatened to suspend their membership but Kobler telephoned them and promised to address this matter,” Omran was quoted as saying.
The issue of Hafter is not, however, now viewed as a cause for dissension within the council, “It’s been agreed that the issue of Hafter should be left aside for the moment,” said one of Misrata’s boycotting HoR members currently on the sidelines of the council meetings in Tunis.
The meetings are being attended by numerous Libyan political players and activists, lobbying for various interests or looking to appointments.