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Libya dialogue committee calls for new unity government head

Libya‘s political dialogue committee on Tuesday called for the appointment of a new head of the country’s Government of National Accord.

The new leader, the committee insisted, must not be from the government’s presidential council, while the number of members on the council must also be reduced.

“We have agreed to appoint a new head for the unity government from outside the presidential council, as the head of the government should also assume the post of supreme commander of the army,” read a final statement issued at the meeting in the Tunisian city of Hammamat.

“Participants also agreed on the need to reduce the number of presidential council members from nine to three,” it added.

The two-day meeting was attended by signatories of the 2015 Skhirat Agreement – which called for the establishment of the unity government – members of Libya’s Tripoli-based State Council, and other political figures.

UN Libya envoy Martin Kobler, however, refrained from the meeting, along with lawmakers from the country’s rival Tobruk-based parliament.

At present, Libya’s Tripoli-based unity government is still failing to assert its authority over the country, while the Tobruk-based House of Representatives continues to shun its legitimacy.

General Haftar Khalifa, a former ally of slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi who commands a significant military force in the country’s east, has also opposed the GNA and is aligned to Tobruk.

Western supporters of the GNA have argued that supporting the UN-backed regime is crucial to the fight against Islamic State extremists and controlling migration flows from Libya towards Europe.

However, another group of regional and international states, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia see Haftar’s forces as the nucleus of a future military, and stable Libyan state.

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